Racist garbage called MV-lehti magazine, Hommaforum and Magneettimedia

by

Migrant Tales doesn’t usually comment about the racist garbage published in Finland by online publications like MV-lehti, Hommaforum, and Magneettimedia. All of these websites have one matter in common: they write and cater to a racist audience.

A story that Migrant Tales published about an Afghan who attempted to take his life on Friday night was picked up by MV-lehti. Without any respect for the person who committed suicide, the online publication twisted the facts of the original story to suit its racist worldview.

There is a new story published today by MV-lehti, which is a case in point on how this online publication makes up news. Plagarism and making up news is the worst mistake a journalist can commit.

MV-lehti writes the story in English apparently to attract a wider international audience:

“Two Soldiers of Odin, who by chance happened to be around, saw what was happening and stopped the harassment by pushing the Arabs to the ground with force and holding them until the police came.”

What’s wrong with the story? It’s all made up. Nothing of the sort happened.

Tampere-based daily Aamulehti published a story today confirming that the story was made up.

The popularity of online publications that spread racist garbage has grown in Finland. Their presence is a reminder that the national media has failed in challenging racism in this country and been instead a service to such publications by offering them readers that still believe that the world is still flat.

Statistics that expose how bigotry and prejudice are alive and kicking in Finland

by

Facts expose lies, but bigotry and racism help resurrect them. 

It shouldn’t surprise us that during an economic recession that some expose their racist views. Add to the latter weak politicians, a complacent media, and a party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* in government, which base their popularity on xenophobia and populist nationalism, and you end up with a perpetuating brew of hate. 

Especially since fall, the narrative coming from the police service, politicians, and the media is that asylum seekers bring crime and rape our women.

Every time they label an asylum seeker “a rapist criminal” a familiar “us” and “them” positioning emerges: We’re good, they’re suspect.

But the bigotry of such Finns got questioned in January when the police administration said that only a small amount of suspected rape cases involved asylum seekers.

The police service of Ostrobothnia reinforced Monday what the police administration stated in January. It said that during March 7-13 only 0.1% of all calls they got to investigate involved asylum seekers, reports Talouselämä.

How long will it take this country to understand that most asylum seekers that came here are traumatized people fleeing the worst kind of war and terror that involves poverty as well?  Why are we then making up urban tales about them?

Näyttökuva 2016-3-15 kello 16.51.43
Read full story (in Finnish) here.

(more…)

Recovering Afghan who attempted suicide wants to leave Finland

by

The 23-24-year-old Afghan, who attempted to take his life Friday night, is recovering at a hospital and wants leave Finland after he recovers, according to a source contacted by Migrant Tales.

Two hours after the attempted suicide by the Afghan another asylum seeker at Luona’s Kutomotie reception center tried to commit suicide after hearing that his brother died in Iraq in a bomb explosion.

The source, who spoke to the suicide victim’s roommate, said that the Afghan  was depressed by those asylum seekers who didn’t get a residence permit to stay in Finland.

“He’s disappointed with Finland,” the source said. “Some believe that the poor treatment they endure at Luona [asylum reception center at Kutomotie 9 in Helsinki] is the same attitude that the whole country has of them.”

Migrant Tales has written about the racist and inhumane treatment that asylum seekers have suffered at the reception centers managed by Luona. Some of the employees that treat asylum seekers poorly aren’t white Finns but Palestinian and Kurdish staffers who are naturalized Finns.

Many of the employees that Luona hires are unqualified and “blindly exploited by the company’s managers,” according to another source.

(more…)

Two new suicide cases involving asylum seekers in Finland not reported by the media

by

After the tragic news of two asylum seekers that tried to take their lives on Friday at Luona’s asylum reception center in Espoo, Migrant Tales has learned of two suicide cases that occurred and weren’t reported by the media.

The first happened in December when an asylum seeker, believed to be an Iraqi Kurd, wanted to throw himself off the roof of Luona’s Robert Huberin tie reception center.

“The young asylum seeker was mentally unstable and suffering from war trauma,” a source told Migrant Tales. “Sometimes he’d wake up in the evening thinking that his pillow was a chopped off head.”

An employee working for Luona convinced the asylum seeker not to take his life.

“When I told the morning shift manager about what happened, he didn’t care one bit for the person that needed medical [psychiatric] attention,” the source continued. “The manager said that he didn’t care if the asylum seeker died.”

The second case took place in January. It involved a young Afghani man threw himself off the bridge above Kehä III located right across the Jumbo Shopping Center in Vantaa but was saved by a life net.

“The police and fire department arrived in time,” the source said. “Fortunately, he was saved.”

(more…)

Racism Review: Protestors force cancelation of Trump rally in Chicago

by

Jessie Daniels

The activists at University of Illinois-Chicago, where Trump had scheduled a rally, effectively shut it down yesterday. When the rally was abruptly canceled at the last minute, Trump supporters and protestors clashed. Several people were injured.

This brief video puts the events of last night into some context of Trump’s escalating remarks at recent rallies (12:50 with a :30 advertisement at the beginning):

Näyttökuva 2016-3-14 kello 13.13.22
Read full story and see video clip here.

(more…)

Abuses at Luona’s asylum reception centers continue – two refugees tried to commit suicide

by

The right-wing Finnish government, and especially the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, which shares power with the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP), have tried their hardest to find ways to deport some 20,000 of the 32, 476 asylum seekers that came to Finland in 2015.

The reception that these asylum seekers have gotten in Finland is not only shameful but has added to their suffering. Private companies like Luona, which runs eight reception centers in Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo and Hyvinkää, and as Migrant Tales revealed in numerous stories, treat asylum seekers in a racist and inhumane manner.

Since there is some kind of a pattern, one wonders what type of silent complacency there is between the Finnish Immigration Service (FIS) and the government to turn a blind eye to such abuses.

Such degrading treatment, which is in conflict with our Nordic values, takes its toll on people like two cases that happened Friday.

One Afghani asylum seeker at Luona’s Kutomotie reception center yesterday evening tried to commit suicide by sliting his wrist. (The Kutomotie reception center will be closed in August by the Finnish Migration Service (FIS) due to deficiencies that came to light in February.) Two hours later another asylum seeker from Iraq at the same reception center tried to take his life by jumping out of the window.

According to reliable sources, both men wanted to take their lives because of the inhumane treatment they have suffered in Finland and “in particular by Luona.”

Fortunately, both asylum seekers were stopped in time and are no longer in harm’s away.

(more…)

Denying the rise of racism and fascism in Finland

by

Even if Finland denies that it has a serious racism and fascism problem, the country cannot go forward and the situation for migrants and minorities in Finland will get worse until we get a grip of these social issues. 

In the face of ever-incriminating evidence that Finland has the potential of becoming an Islamophobic country like Denmark or one that is at the alter with fascism like Hungary, it is a sign of cowardice that politicians and other community leaders in this country prefer to remain silent instead of challenge racism and its many poisonous forms.

The only way that Finland will be able to challenge these types of social ills is when parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* are sent back to the mini political leagues. Since they are in government and have power, it’s clear that racism and xenophobia will get worse, not retreat, in Finland.

Even if the PS has risen to become one of the biggest parties, they have done this with the help of mainstream parties that think like them but aren’t too vocal about it.

The rise of xenophobia and parties like the PS is proof why hostility towards migrants and minorities has grown recently.

Kitee is a sleepy city in Eastern Finland that had a number of families who moved to Argentina in the 1920s. Today it is a city where hate crime towards asylum seekers and the Roma happens.

Writes YLE:

Three men were given fines for harassing foreign students in Kitee. Among other things, they painted swastikas on the [students’ home] walls, urinated on their door and threw objects through the students’ window.

How many politicians have come out to condemn what happened?

(more…)

A plea for help for a Syrian asylum-seeker family in Greece stranded at the Macedonian border

by

Migrant Tales gets emails from readers who want to tell their story. This is perfect for us since it is our aim “to be a voice for those whose views and situation are understood poorly and heard faintly by the media, politicians and public.”

Thulfiqar Abdulkarim is an Iraqi national who recently got asylum in Finland. He writes:

“Good day Mr. Enrique, I’m one of your followers on migrants tales, Dear sir I’ve a friend in Espoo he’s an asylum seeker from Syria, his family is on the border between Greece and Macedonia for days. And for that reason he is on hunger strike, and it’s s his third day. His health is becoming worse and worse, please mr Enrique how can you help him to deliver his voice and situation to the human groups and organizations or the media, to help his family, All the best, Thulfiqar”

We answered by publishing Abdulkarim’s story and pictures of his friend, who is on hunger strike and hope to be reunited with his family in Finland.

Näyttökuva 2016-3-10 kello 20.49.22
The Syrian asylum seeker on hunger strike in Espoo.
Näyttökuva 2016-3-10 kello 20.48.21
The children of the man are 10 and 5 years old. They arrived with their mother in Greece on February 25. The man has lost contact ith his family for three days.

(more…)

Onko meillä käynnissä sota pakolaisia vastaan?

by

Onko auttaminen mahdollista vain silloin, kun autettavat eivät liikaa häiritse omaa mukavuutta?

Miksi pakolaisten motiivit kyseenalaistetaan nyt, kun he ovat liikkeellä suurin joukoin? Eikö olisi silloin ollut tarpeellista kyseenalaistaa, kun paljon suurempi osa jäi kotimaihinsa? Eikö silloin ollut suuremmalla todennäköisyydellä niin, että siellä sittenkin pystyi elämään?

Käytän tässä kirjoituksessa sanaa pakolainen kaikista ihmisistä, jotka ovat jättäneet kaiken ja hengenhädässä lähteneet pakoon kodeistaan ja kotimaistaan.

Varsinaisen pakolaisaseman, turvapaikan ja siihen liittyvät edut saavat Suomessa vain tietyt kriteerit täyttävät ihmiset. Vaikka ei saisi turvapaikkaa, voi saada oleskeluluvan, jos ihmistä uhkaa omassa maassa kuolemanrangaistus tai epäinhimillinen kohtelu. Oleskeluluvan voi saada myös, jos ihminen voisi kotimaassaan joutua henkilökohtaiseen vaaraan aseellisen selkkauksen vuoksi. Myös ympäristökatastrofi tai esim. vaikea ihmisoikeustilanne voi oikeuttaa saamaan maassamme oleskeluluvan humanitaarisen suojelun perusteella.

Kun hätä on tarpeeksi suuri, ihmiset lähtevät joka tapauksessa pakoon. Tapa, jolla he nyt ovat paenneet, on jo selvästi osoittanut, että he eivät ole enää nähneet muuta mahdollisuutta. Hukkumalla Välimereen ei ole saavuttanut turvapaikkaa, mutta on ainakin yrittänyt. Heittämällä lapsen raja- aidan ylitse voi saada pienen toivonkipinän, että edes hänet joku löytää ja ottaa hoitoonsa.

Pakolaisia Kreikan ja Makedonian rajalla I. Prickett UNHCR
Pakolaisia Kreikan ja Makedonian rajalla. Kuva: I.Prickett, UNHCR

Suomessa on ollut suuri älämölö siitä, että tulijoista niin suuri osa on miehiä. Nyt, kun äidit ja lapset ovat lähteneet liikkeelle, heidän edestään portit suljetaan kylmästi. Perussuomalaiset ovat jo pitkään toistelleet, että perheiden yhdistäminen on suurin uhka maallemme. Eivät he kustannuksia pelkää, vaan sitä, että täällä jo olevat väärän väriset ihmiset saavat tänne puolisonsa ja lapsensa, perustavat lisää perheitä ja saavat lisää väärän värisiä lapsia. Ja pian käy niin, että Suomen jalkapallomaajoukkue ei – heidän likaisessa mielessään – enää ole valkoinen suomalainen joukkue.

(more…)

Abuse of asylum seekers at Luona’s reception centers continues despite assurances that they don’t permit “racist behavior”

by

Migrant Tales understands that asylum seekers at Luona, a private company that manages eight reception centers, continue to suffer abuse. Luona employees with foreign backgrounds treat asylum seekers in “a racist and inhumane manner,” according to a source.

“Asylum seekers are forced and threatened to work and clean at Luona’s reception center [in Espoo],” the source continued. “If they don’t comply they are threatened by employees [with foreign background] that they will be  sent to another reception center in Hyvinkää where they claim there is a pig sty.”

Migrant Tales has documented a number of cases of how asylum seekers are treated in a racist manner at Luona’s reception centers and the police, which can detain them for many hours for minor offenses.

After Migrant Tales and other media exposed how the company was treating asylum seekers to the public, Luona claimed last month that it would take steps to correct such abuses.

“We don’t permit racist or inappropriate behavior [from our staff] towards asylum seekers,” said Luona General Manager Milja Saksi. “We have made personnel changes if people aren’t suitable to work at our reception centers.”

We will publish more on this type of abuse later on in the day.

Human trafficking – get ready for another onslaught of xenophobia and labeling

by

Should we be surprised that YLE is planning another one-sided “debate” in April on human trafficking? The problem with this type of “debate,” like the one before that on March 2 on how asylum seekers have fueled uncertainty in Finland, is that it follows a common narrative that white Finland has of Otherness: You are a threat and a problem. 

Certainly we should be concerned about human trafficking but it is hypocritical to overlook the fact that it is our indifference and Fortress Europe mentality that have given human traffickers a good opportunity to exploit asylum seekers fleeing war and poverty.

Blaming asylum seekers, like anti-immigration parties do in Finland and Europe, is disingenuous. Such parties would care less about the plight of asylum seekers and their solutions for such people is frightening.

What is, even more, surprising about the article below is that it is being made by Kirsi Pimiä, the non-discrimination ombudsman. Nowhere in the story does Pimiä challenge that common narrative that migrants are a problem for Finland. 

If I were the journalist writing the story I’d ask her why not one, yes, not one, minority representative is working for the non-discrimination ombudsman.

The YLE article below leads with the following statement:

Marriages of convenience are a new form of human trafficking also in Finland together with forced labor and sexual exploitation. In our country we are treating close to one hundred human trafficking victims.

With provocative leads like the above written in the present xenophobic context of Finland one questions that sincerity of the article and its concern for human trafficking victims.

The most effective way to stop human trafficking is to create humane and easier paths for asylum seekers to come to Europe. Stop labelling ALL asylum seekers and migrants and do something to stop human trafficking, which Europe is guilty of promoting.

Näyttökuva 2016-3-9 kello 8.20.08
Read full story (in Finnish) here.

(more…)

Close to 80% of the police service of Finland sees asylum seekers as the greatest threat to security

by

A poll showed that close to 80% of the police surveyed consider the asylum seeker crisis as the most serious threat to Finnish security, according to YLE News. Another important matter that the poll revealed was that 25.1% of those polled voted for the National Coalition Party (NCP) and 24.4% for the Perussuomalaiset (PS).*

The interesting and worrying question that the poll brings forth is what attitudes does the police service have towards cultural diversity? How do they see migrants and minorities in Finland?

The poll offers us as well an answer why the police, whose authority is rarely questioned in Finland, has fumbled the ball and given mixed statements concerning vigilante patrols, exaggerated alleged sexual harassment crimes by asylum seekers that didn’t pan out as they thought, and even singled out migrant entrepreneurs who sell pizzas for under six euros to name a few.

What does the police really think about migrants and minorities? Does it ethnically profile such minorities?

Doesn’t the police consider hate speech, arson attacks against asylum reception centers, and the rise of the far right in Finland greater threats?

Like Finland, the police too suffer from dear little cultural diversity among its ranks. There is only one black policeman in all of Finland. How many policemen and policewomen speak Arabic?

Näyttökuva 2016-3-7 kello 7.24.57
Read the full story here.

(more…)

Näkökulma: Tie muslimien suomalaisuuden riistoon

by

Tulin Suomeen kun olin kolme viikkoa vanha. Puoliksi suomalainen äitini halusi synnyttää minut Yhdysvalloissa, koska perheellämme on vahva intiaanitausta ja äitini päätti suosia perinteistä intiaanikotisynnytystä Länsi-Virginian vuoristossa. Kasvoin ja elin Suomessa, ja vaikka kasvoinkin yksilöksi, joka vahvasti omaksui piirteitä myös muusta kuin supisavolaisesta kulttuurista, koin aina vahvasti olevani myös suomalainen kaiken muun muassa. Monikulttuurisuuteni ei koskaan sulkenut pois jokaiseen kulttuuriin ja perintöön sitoutumista erikseen, yhtä aikaa. Täällä olo ei ole koskaan tarkoittanut minulle sitä, että minun täytyisi olla täysin samanlainen, kuin jokainen kadulla vastaan tuleva monokulttuurinen kantasuomalainen. Minulle päämäärä monikulttuurisena ihmisenä oli aina se, että pärjään osana yhteiskuntaa ja että noudatan kaikille yhteisiä reilun kunnioituksen pelisääntöjä. Kasvoin lapsuuteni kuitenkin maailmassa, jossa vanhemmat huutelivat minulle ja perheelleni törkeyksiä kotipihassa, missä lapset kostivat minulle terroristien teot ja saudien polyamorisuuden, missä sekä minä että perheemme elimme uusnatsien väkivallan uhassa. Esiteinistä lähtien jouduin aina suihkussa muistamaan arpien kautta sen, mitä minulle oli tehty, mutta siltikään en menettänyt suomalaisuuttani, ylpeyttäni Nokiasta, Kalevalasta ja kanteleesta, ja nörtiksi kasvaessani toivoin, että Suomi, kotimaani ja yksi rakkaista esi-isäkansoistani olisi joskus valittavana strategiapeleissä. Vaikka vaikeuksia rasismin ja muslimivihan kanssa oli henkilökohtaisella tasolla enemmän kuin nyt, oli silloin loppukädessä helppoa sysätä ksenofoobikkojen virheet heidän omaksi vastuukseen, ja ainoa mikä silloin kärsi oli itsetunto ja omakuva.

Nyt minut on kuitenkin vähitellen ahdettu nurkkaan, josta olen hädän edessä päätynyt aktivistiksi ja paikalliseksi vaikuttajaksi. Nykyinen julkinen ilmapiiri on luisunut tilanteeseen, jossa vaikuttajahahmot meuhkaavat mutavyörystä, ihmissaastasta, ihmiskunnan syövästä, Euroopan raiskaavasta valloittajasta. Suurin osa ulkomaalais-, ja muslimitaustaisista on löytänyt itsensä tilanteesta, jossa heidän arkielämänsä on ahdettu aaltoilevaksi helvetilliseksi taisteluksi omasta ihmisarvosta, turvasta ja suomalaisuudesta. Aktivistina olen etunenässä ollut mukana vastustamassa sunnien ja shiiojen välistä kärhämää Suomessa, fundamentalismin ääntä sekä antipluralismia. Olen kuitenkin joutunut tilanteeseen, jossa voimavarani on pakotettu ihmisoikeustaisteluun kotiovellani. Minä olen löytänyt itseni tilanteesta, jossa joudun pimeässä hapuilemaan omaa suomalaisuuttani, sillä minä, Puijonlaakson pentuslangia heittävä savolainen, en enää kuulu tänne täysin. Toimiessani antirasistiaktiivina olen saanut ryöpyn kiitoksia kymmeniltä ihmisiltä, jotka huomioivat samoja asioita, jotka ovat väsyneitä ja maahanpainettuja. Samoin kun suomalaisuus, on suufilaisuuteni muslimina, arabialaisuuteni, skottilaisuuteni, ruotsalaisuuteni ja irokeesiuteni osa minua, ja kaksi ensimmäistä sellaisia, joista minulle yhteiskunta kostaa vähä vähältä enemmän ja enemmän. Kysymys ei ole pelosta tai kaukaisesta, hämyisestä uhasta, siitä että ehkä saattaa käydä jotain, kuten monelle turvapaikanhakijoiden tuoma turvattomuus on. Meidän päällemme kirjaimellisesti syljeskellään, viha on lähes jokaisen henkilökohtainen kokemus.

Olemme nyt oikeasti ison kynnyksen ja oven äärellä. Onko suotavaa lähteä julkisesti kampanjoimaan sen puolesta, että joku vähemmistö on ihmiskunnan syöpä? Vaikutusvaltaiset poliittiset tahot ovat useasti ja avoimesti mollanneet muslimeja ja ei-eurooppalaisia, sekä törkyilleet meille.

Miten voimme muslimivähemmistönä saavuttaa sen, mihin pyrimme ja mitä yhteiskunta meiltä toivoo, eli omina itsenämme integroimaan ja integroitumaan, jos äärioikeisto pakottaa meidät taistelemaan ihmisarvostamme ja ihmisoikeuksistamme. Minun suomalaisuudestani on jo iso osa nakerrettu pois, sillä en voi lähellekään täysin kokea kuuluvani tänne niin kauan kuin rasismi ja muslimiviha tuodaan suoraan kotiovelleni ja arkielämääni.

Olemme aikuisten oikeasti nyt vakavassa tilanteessa, ja meidän on yhtenäisenä ja tasa-arvoisena Suomena aika nousta, koska rautainen saapas on jo monen vähemmistön niskassa, ja Euroopan alamäki äärioikeiston sylkykuppina on jo alkanut.

Ei ole kysymys siitä, onko muslimeissa tai ulkomaalaistaustaisissa enemmän tai vähemmän ongelmakäyttäytyjiä kuin muissa ryhmissä. Kysymys on siitä, ajetaanko ryhmät niin ahtaalle, että sekä tehtaillaan täten lisää ongelmakäyttäytyjiä, että vaikeutetaan tai tehdään mahdottomaksi työ ja puskeminen parempaa kohti, kohti konkreettisia jäsentyneitä ratkaisuja ja yhteisiä järkeviä tavoitteita, rauhaa ja tasa-arvoa.

Sanon tämän suoraan: meiltä riistetään meidän suomalaisuutemme. Ellei kansa nouse apuumme pian, ei meille sitä jää. Moni on hyvä ja tasa-arvoa kannattava, mutta se ei muuta sitä, millaiseksi arkemme on muuttunut, ja millaiseksi ilmapiiri, johon joudumme astumaan, on syöpynyt.

Turun kaupunginvaltuutettu Muhis Azizi kysyi avoimessa kirjeessään Timo Soinille muslimina, ovatko hänen Suomessa kasvavat lapsensa ihmiskunnan suurin syöpä, kuten Sebastian Tynkkynen asian ilmaisi. Minä kuitenkin kysyn Suomen kansalta, olenko minä, savolainen muslimi, Kalevala ja kantele kainalossani, teille yhteiskunnan syöpää? Ja olemmeko me Suomen tuhannet reiluutta ja kunnioitusta puoltavat muslimit, teille todella syöpää? Koska syöpänä meidät on ajettu elämään.

Jos emme ole, tämä on avunhuuto teille. Ongelmat ratkaistaan yhteistyöllä, ja on turha valittaa radikaaliudesta tai kotoutumattomuudesta, jos ehkäisevän työn siemenet poljetaan murusiksi. Avainasemassa paremman tulevaisuuden puolesta olemme omalta osaltamme myös me, Suomen monikultturiset ja muslimit, ja me emme kykene tähän yksin, emme jos kaikki olemme ahtaalla.

Does the Trump phenomenon in Europe reflect that white Europe is being challenged?

by

If Donald Trump stands a good chance of being nominated as the Republican party’s presidential candidate this year, surely it says a lot about the moral state of USAmerica. Noam Chomsky, the renowned scholar, was quoted as saying in the Huffington Post that the Trump phenomenon revealed that white USAmerica is dying. 

Are there political Donald Trumps in Europe and do they reveal that white Europe is dying as well?

Taking into account Europe’s colonial legacy and history, white Europe is being challenged by minorities that are demanding their long-overdue rights of being treated with dignity and as equal members of society.

Unfortunately, the Trumps of Europe are springing like mushrooms. They too are using the same political mumbo jumbo with that toxic mix racism, bigotry, bullying, and belligerence.

Some of these European Trumps that come to mind are Marine Le Pen of France, Geert Wilders of Holland, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, Pia Kjærsgaard of Denmark, Finland’s Timo Soini, Visegrad Four, an anti-EU alliance comprising of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, to name a few.

In Finland, about 18% of voters voted in the 2011 and 2015 parliamentary elections voted for a party that sees cultural diversity as a threat and that near-constantly exploits and maintains ethnic suspicion, especially against Muslims and blacks, for political gain.

Even if the track record of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is shamefully linked with racism, bigotry and ties to far-right groups, some Finnish scholars like Heikki Hiilamo, a social policy professor at Helsinki University, believe that the PS has done “a great service to [Finnish] democracy” by letting off (racist?) steam of the “suppressed middle classes, especially working class men.”

Hiilamo continues: “The danger of radicalization is especially high today since support for the PS [in the polls] has plummeted and many still don’t know for which party they’d vote for.”

This argument that if support for the PS nosedives in the polls fuels radicalization was used in a so-called “study” by the Police University College, which cost taxpayers 200,000 euros. The report painted a bleak and threatening picture of Finland’s ever-growing culturally diverse society. In a nutshell, it claimed that migrants and minorities should be treated with suspicion since they are a threat to Finland.

If we look at these two cases and add YLE’s A2-ilta debate on Wednesday about how asylum seekers fuel uncertainty a pattern starts to evolve: white Finnish entitlement.

Certainly for Hiilamo, the authors of the Police University College report and the hosts of the A2-ilta debate have a difficult time seeing how their entitlement blinds them to their ethnocentrism and “diplomatic” bigotry.

Setting the tone of the A2-ilta debate, the first person that the hosts interviewed was Sari Hassinen of Kankaanpää, who has very strong nationalistic views about migrants, asylum seekers and cultural diversity.

Näyttökuva 2016-2-25 kello 21.55.14
Sari Hassinen “likes” on Facebook the following pages: “Ban the burka and niqab,” “Finland first,” “Romany panhandlers out of Finland and close our borders,” “We Finns are against refugee quotas from the EU,” and “We’re against the interior ministry’s 2020 migration program.”

When asked why she’s collected signatures for a petition against asylum seekers in Kankaanpää, where a building that was going to become a refugee reception center was razed to the ground in December, she responded:  “They [asylum seekers] haven’t done anything yet, certainly there have been looks [by them], speaking in a language we don’t understand, laughs, but we still want to make sure that nothing [bad] happens [to us and our children].”

(more…)

Ignacio Pérez Pérez: The swastika and Finnish langauge class

by

Ignacio Pérez Pérez has written some beautiful poetry for Migrant Tales. He sent an email with a picture he took a few days ago when going to his Finnish lessons in Helsinki. 

He writes that the racism we are witnessing in Finland is a cancer that is spreading in society.

With the rise of far-right vigilante groups like the Soldiers of Odin, Ignacio does make a valid point!

 

Ignacio
Photo by Ignacio Pérez Pérez.

Finland’s bigoted and perilous path

by

Finland has become in a short time a country that has lost its way. The police service,  public officials like politicians, even ministers, who should know better, don’t. The most shameful matter that exposes these wretched times is that we’ve allowed xenophobia and populism to not only enter through the back door but permitted it to grow before our eyes.

This strange and poisonous fruit of far-right and right-wing populism feeds on our silence, indifference, and mixed statements. It deceives us into believing that we won’t be its next target after we’ve got rid of groups they scapegoat.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, could be further from the truth.

We are not only seeing right-wing populism and fascism in Finland raise their ugly faces and take root in this country but with the help of mainstream parties, politicians, and the media.

Populist nationalism, be if from the right or left, and xenophobia have always been strong in Finland but kept in check. That is not the case any longer.

A good example of the latter is the rise of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, which now shares power with the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP).

The relationship that the PS has with the Center Party and NCP is in many cases disturbing. The PS gives its support to the massive cutbacks in social welfare and the Center Party and NCP allow the PS to pursue its anti-immigration policies in government.

It’s not only is a relationship of convenience but one that is clearly hostile to our ever-growing culturally diverse society since it aims to demote migrants and minorities in Finland from second- to third- and fourth-class citizens.

There are many sad examples of where institutions like the police service that should know better have failed but shown their hostility and prejudice towards migrants and minorities.

Näyttökuva 2016-2-26 kello 10.51.11
The hearsay, suspicion, and urban tales spread about asylum seekers and migrants in Finland is so thick that one blogger suggested that the next step would be using an anti-Dracula kit. Source: Saku Timonen and FB/The Vintage News.

A good example of the latter is an announcement by the Helsinki police that they have suspended their investigation into except for one case where alleged large-scale sexual harassment carried out by men “who appeared to be foreign-looking,” according to YLE News.

(more…)

How “safe and reliable” is the Finnish police towards asylum seekers?

by

How are asylum seekers treated in Finland by the police? One would hope that it would be in a humane and respectful manner. Migrant Tales has published two stories about asylum seekers being handcuffed and locked up in a police cell for many hours for what we’d consider minor offenses. 

The first case is of an Iraqi asylum seeker who was locked up for 15 hours for complaining about the very late payment of the small 92-euro allowance to those refugees in the reception center.

The second case is of another asylum seeker who protested against being moved to another room.

The third one below, which Migrant Tales had the opportunity to publish the complaint, reinforces the poor treatment some asylum seekers appear to get from the police.

If these cases are true, why isn’t any Finnish newspaper investigating never mind asking the police service if this is true?

A video published by the Finnish Immigration Service (FIS) assures asylum seekers that public officials like the police are “safe and reliable.”

Is this true?

All three asylum seekers above are staying at one of Luona’s asylum reception centers.

Näyttökuva 2016-2-24 kello 13.04.16

(more…)

Our image of Finland to asylum seekers is too rosy and full of myths that expose ethnocentrism and hypocrisy

by

As a sociologist, it’s interesting to note how Finland portrays itself to outsiders. One of these presentations is a three-part Beginners guide to Finland published by the Finnish Immigration Service (FIS).  Just like the populist catchphrase maassa maan tavalla, in Rome do as the Romans do, asylum seekers and migrants are being fed myths about ourselves. 

All of the claims made in the FIS presentation can be contested.

The first claim by FIS is that equality is important. I, for one, hope so but is this true? Are asylum seekers treated with equality and respect?

Another claim that FIS makes is that public officials like the police are “safe and reliable.”

The problem with that statement, which shows a medic and lawyer as well, is that asylum seekers have limited access to such public services. An asylum seeker can see a medic only in acute circumstances and lawyers only give limited advice.

We are hearing near-constantly troubling stories not only about the mistreatment of asylum seekers inside and outside reception centers but how easily the police locks them up in cells for many hours without telling them why never mind explaining their rights.

One of these cases was of an Iraqi who was locked up for 15 hours in a police cell for apparently protesting the very late payment of his monthly 92-euro allowance.

 

Näyttökuva 2016-2-24 kello 7.49.59
The Finnish Immigration Service published for asylum seekers a beginner’s guide to Finland. See the whole guide here.

(more…)

Asylum seekers have exposed Europe’s schizophrenia and bigotry

by

Nothing could depict better Europe’s schizophrenia and hypocrisy concerning asylum seekers than what happened recently in eastern Germany, where a building that was going to house them was ablaze and cheered by some onlookers, according to the BBC.

Writes the BBC:

The fire in the town of Bautzen [eastern Germany] in the early hours of Sunday morning destroyed the roof of a former hotel, which was being converted into a migrant shelter. Police said some of the crowd tried to prevent firefighters from extinguishing the blaze, which destroyed the roof.

Stanislaw Tillich, the premier of Saxony, described those that impeded firefighters and the police from doing their work as “criminals.”

Näyttökuva 2016-2-21 kello 20.00.54

If that wasn’t enough to make you wonder, in Clasnitz we saw a frightened refugee boy crying as the passengers in the bus are jeered by neo-nazis.

(more…)

Defining white Finnish privilege #27: White versus Other media

by

On occasions Migrant Tales, the Other media, does investigative journalism. When we do such type of investigative reporting it’s because there is a big story that needs to be told. One of these big stories that we scooped was on Luona, a private company that treats asylum seekers badly and profits off them.  

Certainly good and reliable sources are important when doing investigative journalism. One matter that I have learned is that if you are going to break a big story, you have to make sure that your facts are right.

In Colombia, where I worked as bureau chief for Bridge News (1998-2000), I not only had to worry about verifying sensitive information but making sure that my sources didn’t get fired from work, or killed.

Näyttökuva 2016-1-29 kello 16.18.16
Luona’s web page claims that it strives to take into account the person’s background, special needs, and dignity.

The Finnish media, like any other Western media, is a powerful institution of those that have entitlement.

I approached Helsingin Sanomat before publishing the scoop about Luona in Migrant Tales.

Despite Helsingin Sanomat’s refusal, Suomen Kuvalehti in January, and this month YLE and tabloids such as Iltalehti have given wide coverage to how poorly asylum seekers are treated at Luona’s reception centers.

Even Helsingin Sanomat wrote a story about it in February.

Too many stories about the scandalous treatment of asylum seekers at Luona give, however, the benefit of the doubt to give the company.

Why?

Definition #27

Because Luona and the Finnish media have entitlement over asylum seekers and Migrant Tales.

Since we are the Other media in Finland we don’t have power. Since we don’t have power what we write doesn’t interest large dailies like Helsingin Sanomat even if they should.

The job of the white Finnis media is to ensure that power remains in the hands of those that have entitlement.

Even if we still don’t have a strong enough voice in Finland we do have one, which is growing every day thanks to our culturally and ethnically diverse community, which is growing in numbers every day.

 

See also:

Racism Review: Debunking white supremacy

by

Tim McGettigan*

(image source)

The United States has always been a white supremacy that masquerades as a democracy. For white racists those are fighting words. How dare anyone cast aspersions on the motives of America’s founding fathers? For shame.

Describing the US as a white supremacy isn’t an ad hominem attack. It is simply a statement of fact. The only people in the room when the founders mapped out the contours of American democracy were greedy white guys. Is it any wonder that the only people who have enjoyed unrestricted access to American democracy throughout its history are greedy white guys?

(image source)

Women and people of color have always been on the outside looking in. The costs of being an outsider have been astronomical. America’s greedy white guys paved the way for continent-wide genocide and property theft — and every other person of color as persona non grata. Should anyone dispute America’s favoritism for white guys, I refer you to the Naturalization Act of 1790.

(more…)

Luona claims that it has zero tolerance for racism but can you teach a racist dog new tricks?

by

General manager Milja Saksi of Luona, a private company that operates eight asylum reception centers in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, and Hyvinkää, claims to have taken necessary steps to address the racist treatment of  its asylum seekers, according to YLE.  

“We don’t permit racist or inappropriate behavior [from our staff] towards asylum seekers,” said Saksi. “We have made personnel changes if people aren’t suitable to work at our reception centers.”

Certainly the million-euro unconfirmed question is what has Luona done to turn in a new leaf?

Näyttökuva 2016-2-19 kello 16.12.36
Read full story here.

Member of the Louna board, National Coalition Party MP Sanna Lauslahti, gives us the same assurances as Saksi, who assures us that the company has “zero tolerance for racism.”

“Ethical standards are very important for our board, for example, we don’t budge an inch on human rights” she was quoted as saying in Iltalehti. ”

Luona, which houses 3,000 asylum seekers, has been under media scrutiny in February for the humiliating and racist treatment of its asylum seekers.

The abusive treatment that some asylum seekers endure at Luona’s reception centers is so abusive that some claim the first word they learned in Finnish is vittu , or f**k.

The cuss word vittu is commonly used by employees and security guards at Luona when addressing asylum seekers. They are addressed as vittu pakolaisia, or f**king refugees.

(more…)

Police study on immigration paints a threatening and bleak picture of Finland’s ever-growing culturally diverse society

by

Weird things happen when an anti-immigration party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* get power and partner with two other mainstream parties, the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP), which have done too little to tackle racism and discrimination in Finland.  One of the many things that can happen is a study, “Immigration, Security and Foresight,”  published with the blessings of the council of state. 

The council of state, which is the body that directs the Finnish government and which commissioned the above study from the Police University College of Finland, paints a bleak picture of our country’s ever-growing culturally diverse society by exaggerating and blaming migrants for high crime rates, future riots, and social unrest.

Näyttökuva 2016-2-18 kello 8.47.48
Read full report here.

Two of the people that authored this work stated in December that attempts by anarchists to silence neo-Nazis on independence day and the plunge in the polls of the Perussuomalaiset party “show how much in crisis [Finnish] democracy is.” 

Is democracy in crisis if people oppose neo-Nazi groups marching in downtown Helsinki or if we see support in the polls plummet for a populist anti-immigration party?

Some, like Christian Thibault, executive director of Liikkukaa – Sports for All, believe that some parts of the study reinforce what anti-racism groups have been saying all along: the integration program doesn’t work and requires more funds and attention.

(more…)

Never underestimate – even in Finland – the power of the word and fearless investigative journalism

by

The power of the word and fearless investigative journalism does pay off even in countries like Finland. Today YLE published a big story about the abuses and poor treatment that asylum seekers get at the reception centers run by Luona, a private company.

Many of the claims made in the story below were published by Migrant Tales last month and got wide attention.

Some of the ordeals that asylum seekers face at some reception center in Finland, and particularly in those run by Luona, are unqualified staff, profit-hungry owners, racism, poor food, crowded quarters, insufficient medical treatment, among others.

Why aren’t other newspapers like Helsingin Sanomat interested in the plight of asylum seekers?

Even if the Finnish Immigration Service (FIS) said it will start to put under greater scrutiny how asylum centers are run in Finland, the question is why hasn’t it done this before?

Part of the answer to that question is a semi-dormant media, politicians and public that is more interested in finding ways to deport these people than to treat them with dignity while they are in Finland.

Näyttökuva 2016-2-16 kello 8.14.19
Read full story (in Finnish) here.

Recent stories by Migrant Tales on Luona:

Iraqi asylum seeker: The first Finnish word I learned was “vittu” (14.2)

How the Finnish Immigration Service’s fast-track scheme will deport thousands of asylum seekers from Finland in 2006 (13.2)

Why are so many Iraqi asylum seekers abandoning Finland? (13.2)

Does Luona treat asylum seekers with dignity or as livestock? (29.1)

BOX STORY: Mohammed Saleh Muhsin (29.1)

Was the death of an Afghani asylum seeker due to negligence? (28.1)

Does Finland treat asylum seekers with dignity or as livestock? (22.1)

 

 

Tighter family reunification laws spearheaded by the PS with the government’s blessing are an example of the Denmarkization of Finland

by

It’s a good matter that government plans to tighten family reunification guidelines have met a stormy reception. We all know that the Perussuomalasiet (PS)*, who base their popularity on anti-immigration rhetoric, are spearheading new tighter guidelines based on the Danish model that aims to make family reunification much harder.

Denmark is the most hostile country towards migrants in the Nordic region and where the PS is a close ideological ally of the Islamophobic Danish People’s Party.

New family reunification guidelines will end up hurting Finland more than benefiting it because it will be another sign that we are an unfriendly country for immigrants. Not only will asylum seekers stay clear of Finland but skilled labor and foreign investors.

When speaking of family reunification why hasn’t the media used the Finns, who emigrated to North America before World War II, as a positive example of the latter? When a Finn moved to the New World he not only brought his wife and kids but his relatives, neighbors and friends as well.

Why did they do this?

Because it was important for them to shed roots in their new homeland. It was easier with the help of the family and friends.

It’s clear that parties like the PS, Center Party and NCP don’t want immigrants to shed too strong roots in Finland. The tightening of family reunification guidelines is clear proof of the latter.

 

Näyttökuva 2016-2-15 kello 23.59.39
Read full story (in Finnish) here.

(more…)

Iraqi asylum seeker: The first Finnish word I learned was “vittu”

by

It’s a Sunday and we’re at a fast-food Middle Eastern restaurant in the heart of Helsinki. I have an appointment with a twenty-six-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker who came to Finland in September via Tornio and who is staying at one of Luona’s asylum reception centers. Like many who have the misfortune of staying at a reception center run by Luona, he too isn’t happy about the poor and humiliating treatment he’s getting.

Apart from traumas left by the violence in his country and the long journey to Finland, which hinges on a residence permit, the treatment he gets at Luona’s reception center only exacerbates his ordeal.

Näyttökuva 2016-2-14 kello 17.14.58
“I made a big mistake coming to Finland and I’m disappointed and feel mentally sick by the situation,” said the Iraqi asylum seeker. Photo by Enrique Tessieri.

Mostafa* speaks:

“We are treated in a racist manner and like animals by Luona. In the first reception center I stayed at (managed by Luona) we were 10-12 asylum seekers in each room. We slept on the floor. People were forced to wear dirty clothes because there was only one washing machine for the whole center. The food that is served is horrible. It isn’t eatable and we don’t trust it. Even if the employees ensure us there’s no pork we can’t trust what they say. [Luona has accidentally served pork twice to asylum seekers].

(more…)

Why are so many Iraqi asylum seekers abandoning Finland?

by

According to some sources, a large number of asylum seekers amounting to about 4,000 had abandoned plans to seek asylum in Finland. Considering that two-thirds of the Iraqis that came to Finland last year are young single men, it’s nothing odd that some are returning. 

In my own research of the Finns that colonized Argentina in 1906, 75% of those first settlers were single men. When the going got exceptionally tough the first to abandon the colony were single men. Those who stayed on were families.

Certainly the circumstances of leaving Finland in 1906 and Iraq in 2015 are vastly different. Iraq is a country that was invaded by the United States and its allies in 2003 and has ever since been absorbed in a vicious spiral of violence that has cost hundreds of thousands of deaths, according to some estimates.

Another factor that is forcing some Iraqis to return to their home country is the poor treatment and hostility they are getting. One asylum seeker said: “I’d rather die in my home country with dignity than suffer humiliation and a slow death in Finland.”

Some sources believe that those that are returning back to Iraq are making life difficult for those who are seeking asylum.

“There are cases were part of a family has returned back to Iraq while the other family members decided to stay in Finland,” a source said. “This erodes the cases of those that stay since Migri can claim to them that if some are returning it means that there’s no danger.”

Presently there is a refugee camp near the airport run by Luona where people are being flown back or deported weekly to countries like Iraq. If asylum seekers haven’t got a taste of how poorly Luona treats refugees, they will get a taste of it here.

Those asylum seekers that arrived in August are now getting their residence permit decisions from the Finnish Immigration Service, according to a source contacted by Migrant Tales.

 

How the Finnish Immigration Service’s fast-track scheme will deport thousands of asylum seekers from Finland in 2016

by

What would a country like Finland, which prefers to be an island in Europe and where too many still see cultural diversity with suspicion, do if a record number of asylum seekers from countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia came here in 2015?

Add to that question a government that has a party that is openly hostile to cultural diversity and asylum seekers and two right-wing mainstream parties that need the latter’s support to downsize the welfare state, and a clear picture emerges.BashyQ-5

Asylum seekers are not only victims of the violence in their home countries but the hostility and poor treatment they have face in Finland. Photo by Enrique Tessieri.

In other words, this is what probably happened in the fall behind government closed doors. The anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* turned to their partners in government, the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP), and asked them for help after their popularity plummeted in the polls.

“Our standings in the polls have gone into a tailspin ever since we joined the government,” a PS minister like Timo Soini would probably say with Juha Sipilä or Alexander Stubb interjecting: “Let’s make a deal. We’ll help you regain your popularity in the polls by supporting your plans to tighten immigration policy and you support our plans to downsize the welfare state.”

It’s a simple and clear-cut deal between the ruling partners.  You scratch my back and we’ll scratch yours.

The Center Party and NCP allow the PS to have a free hand at promoting its xenophobic policies in government and in return the PS supports the Center Party’s and NCP’s plans to downsize the welfare state.

(more…)

The face of fascism in Finland: Before and after

by

There is a fascinating book published by Olli Silvennoinen, Marko Tikka and Aapo Romelius titled Suomalaiset fasistit (Finnish fascists).  One of the authors, Silvennoinen, states in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat that the same arguments used in the 1920s to feed fascism are used today. 

The argument is a simple one: Before, in the 1920s, the threat was communism. Today that threat is migration and Islam, according to Silvennoinen.

If there is a party that has given a political forum to fascism in Finland that party is without any doubt the Perussuomalasiet (PS)* with politicians like MEP Jussi Halla-aho, Defense Minister Jussi Niinistö, MPs Olli Immonen, Juho Eerola, Laura Huhtasaari and others.

Just like fascism in the 1920s and 1930s was a violent and hostile force, the PS’ anti-immigration and Islamophobic rhetoric have the ability to match the violence and hostility we saw in the 1920s by fascist groups like the Lapua Movement.

Before…

Näyttökuva 2016-2-12 kello 6.51.36
Source: Helsingin Sanomat.

(more…)

Scaremongering by the PS of Finland is always at full swing

by

Finland’s Perussuomalaiset (PS)* defense minister, Jussi Niinistö, believes that up to one million “illegal” immigrants could come to Finland from Russia, according to YLE News. Niinistö, a historian who has played down the role of fascist associations like the Lapua Movement (1929-32), fearmongers to shore up support for his ailing party. 

Moreover, it’s interesting to note that Niinistö calls asylum seekers “illegal” immigrants. He doesn’t call them asylum seekers never mind undocumented migrants but “illegal” immigrants.

The use of such labels is nothing strange coming from Niinistö, who said recently that that integrating all Muslims into Finnish society is a difficult challenge.

“In practice the potential is limitless,” he was quoted as saying in YLE News. “From hundreds of thousands to a million people, who are ready to move out of Russia. In that sense the situation is worrying. Not just for Finland but for other European countries.”

Näyttökuva 2016-2-11 kello 20.27.45

 

Read full story here.

Can we believe Niinistö scaremongering in light of his far-right credentials and populist party’s nosedive in the polls?

(more…)

Finland’s xenophobic Denmark slippery slope

by

Considering that the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is in government and that the two other ruling partners, the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP), need the support of the PS to downsize the welfare state, it’s clear why Finland is tightening its immigration policy. 

What is happening in Finland has been happening in Denmark for a number of years and serves as a clear warning to Sweden. This is what your country will become if ever the Sweden Democrats got into government.

Apart from officially scapegoating migrants and polarizing society, Islamophobia and fear-mongering would be king.

The saddest aspect of the latter is that most of the politicians, the media and society would care less since they incorrectly believe that tighter rules that will foster social Darwinism won’t apply to them.

Considering that the Finnish government is doing everything possible to discourage asylum seekers from coming to Finland, it’s clear that they are doing everything possible on this front publicly and behind the scenes.

One of these disgraceful examples, like in Denmark, is checking the asylum seekers’ assets and then determine now much reception allowance the person will get.

(more…)

Facebook: Viimeinen virallinen viikko

by

Näitä tapahtuu liian usein Suomessa.

________________________________

Näyttökuva 2016-2-10 kello 7.14.58

Mä oon tehny keikkaa kaupan kassalla ties kuin monessa paikassa mut tänää oli viimeinen virallinen viikko ja PASKIN päivä ikinä ! Asiakas tulee kassalle ja sanoo et ” en enää ikinä astu tähän kauppaa ” aattelin et ruuhkan takii. Sit se pakkaa ostoksiinsa ja sano toiselle asiakkaalle et ” mä en tänne astu enää ku täällä on jotain neekereitä vastassa ” sit se toinen asiakas oli et ” et sä noin voi sanoo” ja tää nainen alko ihan täysii huutaa täydessä kaupassa ” KYLLÄ MÄ VOIN SANOA SUOMALAISENA IHAN MITÄ MÄ HALUAN , HÄN ON NEEKERI ENKÄ TUU ENÄÄ TÄNNE”

Mua ei oo ikinä nöyryytetty näin pahasti viellä niin monen ihmisen edessä , siinä yritin pitää itteeni kasassa ja 15 minuutin päästä vasta pääsin tauolle ja tääl mä itken silmät päästä! Kiitos sulle arvon suomalainen joka koit että on sun paikkas oli tulla mun kassalle kolmen muun kassan sijaan ja tulla haukkumaan minut maan tasolle ja jatkat elämääsi ilmaan minkäänlaista katumusta kun mä joudun jatkaa töitä viellä pari tuntia pidettäessä itkua ! Hyvää lauantaita teille.

Tämä Facebook kirjoitus on julkaistu Migrant Talesissa luvalla.

Facebook: Viha, ennakkoluulot ja tietämättömyys

by

Rasistinen hyökkäys yhdelle ryhmälle kuten turvapaikkajakijalle on hyökkäys kaikki maahanmuuttajia ja vähemmistöjä Suomessa.

Adam Al-Sawad kirjoittaa: “Nämä ihmiset vastustavat aktiivisesti ja konkreettisesti minun ja kaltaisteni olemassaoloa Suomessa.”

Lukekaa.

________________________________

Näyttökuva 2016-2-10 kello 7.17.57

Kuunnellessani James Hirvisaaren puhetta ja muuta Seinäjoen Rajat Kiinni!!! tapahtuman ohjelmistoa murenee maa kotini ja turvani alta hetki hetkeltä.

Viha, ennakkoluulot ja tietämättömyys on salonkikelpoistettu nimittämällä niitä kritisoimiseksi ja kriittisyydeksi, realismiksi ja tasapainoisuudeksi. Ja kun hatusta on vedetty nimikkeet, riippumatta nimetyn todellisesta sisällöstä, voi vastustamisen sivuuttaa sillä, että vasemmisto ei vain hyväksy muita mielipiteitä, ja että kaikki muut eivät kunnioita faktoja. Muutaman yksittäisen faktan ympärille on rakentunut verkko mielikuvitusmaailmoja, jotka keskittyvät nationalistisiin arvohierarkioihoin ja me vastaan ne -asenteeseen.

Nämä ihmiset vastustavat aktiivisesti ja konkreettisesti minun ja kaltaisteni olemassaoloa Suomessa. Meidät on vankasti ja jyrkästi nimitetty ihmissaastaksi, mutavyöryksi, valloittaviksi muhamettilaisiksi jotka pitää poistaa. Tuhannet ihmiset hokevat julkisesti mantrojaan siitä, miten ihan tarpeeksi ählämeitä, islamilaisia ja neekereitä täällä jo on. Sotilaiksi itseään nimittävät kulkevat julkisesti käsi kädessä liikkeen arvojen kanssa, samalla väittäen välittävänsä vain turvallisuudesta. Sotilaat, jotka saarnaavat minun poistamista rakkaasta kotimaastani, eivät tuo minulle turvaa. Suomalainen kristinusko sekä aasalaisten Odin tuhrataan epäkunnioittavasti, ja ulkomaalaistaustaisten ihmisarvo pyritään tallomaan maan rakoon.

Minua ei uhkaa käsitteellinen multikulturalismi, jonka ongelmista täytyy vetää rippeitä sieltä sun täältä. Minua uhkaa se, että kaduilla kulkee tuhansia ihmisiä, joille olen ihmiskunnan syöpää, saastaa joka täytyy poistaa, kulttilainen joka täytyy nujertaa. Tältä juutalaisista on tuntunut aikoinaan. Ja tämän sanon vakavissani ja konkreettisesti, en siksi että se olisi vain hyvä vertaus.

Toivon, että juutalaisten myöhempiä tunteita ei joudu kukaan kokemaan enää koskaan.

‪#‎JeSuisMutavyöry‬

Tämä Facebook kirjoitus on julkaistu Migrant Talesissa luvalla.

When racism in Finland becomes “normal”

by

Migrant Tales insight: As the politicians and media in Finland turn their backs on the ever-increasing racism in this country, there are a few brave people who don’t remain silent. A brave young woman in Lahti preferred not to remain silent at a bar as two black men were being harassed at a bar in a racist manner Saturday. 

If we reflect on what happened, one question rises above the rest: What kind of a country are we living in if a total stranger can insult and harass two black men in public in a racist manner? Is it a country that is living deep in denial and where racism has become so widespread that people can react in such a manner because it is the most normal thing?

_____________________ 

“I went to a bar in Lahti on Saturday and just as I was leaving a Finnish who was accompined by two others started insulting two black men. He told them to leave Finland because noboy had asked them to come here.

The argument got more tempered and that’s when I decided to act and went in between them. I asked the Finnish man why he was yelling at the black men.

Näyttökuva 2016-2-8 kello 17.37.22
Lahti advertises on its web site that it is “an ideal place for businesses.”

________________________________________________

The Finnish man then told me ‘go fuck myself!’

He then continued: ‘Have you lived in some cave?! Don’t you read the news?! Don’t you know that these people come here to rape our women and children?!’

The Finnish man said he had a two-month-old baby and said he was worried she might be raped by the men.  He also blamed them for paying more taxes so they could get social welfare.

‘I hope that your future child gets raped by them,’ he told me.

Then my friends came to my side and a fight erupted between them and the three Finnish men. Out of nowhere a total stranger came and punched one of my firends in the jaw.

The police came but the person that punched my friend got away.

I cried a lot that night. I couldn’t believe that people were so cruel.”

The anti-immigration narrative of politicians, the police and President Sauli Niinistö is no mistake

by

From the fall we have heard the police service, politicians, government ministers, the media and recently the head of state of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, give statements that bolster racist and far-right ideology  that label and victimize asylum seekers, migrants, and minorities in this country. 

Every time these so-called poorly planned statements are made the first ones who feel the brunt of their hostilities are people who may look like asylum seekers. In this group, there are children as well who get a taste of our xenophobia.

President Niinistö is the best recent example of how politicians give space to far right ideology and racism in Finland. Such public figures do so to further their political careers. Hint: Niinistö is courting the anti-immigration vote for the 2018 presidential elections.

Those who have followed Niinistö know that he’s no friend of our ever-growing culturally diverse society never mind asylum seekers.

What he said Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the new parliamentary session shouldn’t surprise us too much. The pattern is clear: feed the public with the usual dose of anti-immigration rhetoric and then retract and act surprised by stating that “it wasn’t what I meant.”

What did Niinistö state?

_____________________________________

Näyttökuva 2016-2-6 kello 8.02.08
Read full story here.

______________________________________________

Apart from pronouncing the term “asylum” incorrectly, he stated:

“At some point, someone has to recognize that, here and now, we cannot fulfill all of our obligations under international agreements,” according to the Helsinki Times.

(more…)

Perussuomalaisia mielikuvia

by

Kun katsoo perussuomalaisten rasistisiiven jäsenen, Laura Huhtasaaren, seinällä tätä kuvaa, jolla häntä siellä nyt kannattajat haluavat mairitella, ei voi kuin hätkähtää selvää yhteyttä Neuvostoliiton aikaiseen propagandaan.

russian 4
russian 2

Soturi, anna isänmaalle vastaukseksi voitto!

Mitä kuva kertoo tavalliselle ihmiselle? Kova nainen, sotilaallinenkin, valmis annettuun tehtävään?

Suomen demokratia ei kaipaa sellaisen tehtävän suorittajia, joiksi nämä perussuomalaiset ”roturealistit” ja valkoisen Elovena-tytön säilyttäjät ovat nyt asettuneet. Meillä ei myöskään kaivata stalinilaista kuria, suojeluskuntien katupartioita eikä keskitysleirejä, vaikka rasistikansanedustajat niitä toistuvasti vaativat. Siksi kauhistuttaa yhä enemmän se, että tämänkaltaiset eduskuntaturistit ovat nyt lakejamme säätämässä ja vaikuttamassa yleiseen asenneilmapiiriin. Tavallisen kansalaisen huoli on syvä.

Jos kuvalla taas on tarkoitus korostaa perinteisen työn merkitystä, niin toivotaan, että se sanoma sitten osuu roskasivustoilla ja rasistifoorumeilla mylviviin persusankareihin, jotka näyttäisivät käyttävän suurimman osan työnantajiensa ajasta Lauran ja taistelutovereiden mairittelun ohella kunniallisten kansalaisten solvaamiseen, vihapuheisiin, valheiden levittämiseen ja kansanryhmää vastaan kiihottamiseen. Eikä työttömyyskorvauksiakaan ole tarkoitettu tuollaiseen toimintaan. Me tavalliset kansalaiset loppujen lopuksi tuonkin maksamme.

russian 1

Maanviljelijöiden tärkein tehtävä on satomäärän nostaminen. Isänmaa, ota vastaan runsas satomme!

Kun tasavallan presidentti piti kyseenalaisen puheensa eduskunnan uuden istuntokauden alkajaisiksi, myös Laura Huhtasaari ulvahti ilosta. Olemme kuulemma juuri nyt saaneet arvojohtajan.

Tasavallan presidentin selkeä kädenojennus rasisteille oli minustakin hätkähdyttävä. Olemme, vaikka olemme huolella seuranneet vaikkapa Unkarin kehitystä, vielä sentään uskoneet, että Suomen tasavallan korkeimmassa johdossa on tolkun ihmisiä. Äärioikeistolaisia, rasistisia piirejä miellyttäviä puheita pitävä presidentti ei voi olla arvojohtaja. Arvojohtaja tarkoittaa henkilöä, joka johdattaa kansan pitämään kiinni hyvistä arvoista, vaikeinakin aikoina. Onhan meillä Euroopassakin ollut suuriakin kansankiihottajia, joita ei todellakaan voi mainita arvojohtajiksi.

Presidentti Niinistö on esiintymisessään jo useamman kerran antanut viitteitä siitä, että hän haluaa miellyttää perussuomalaisia äänestäjiään perussuomalaisella retoriikalla ja mielikuvilla. Hän on pelotellut kansalaisia pahat mielessään tulevista maahanmuuttajista ja nostanut erikseen esille ainoastaan sellaisia maahanmuuttajia, jotka ovat vihreälle oksalle päästyään valmiit solvaamaan muita maahanmuuttajaryhmiä ja esittämään heidät rikollisuuteen taipuvaisina, laiskoina ja raiskauskulttuurin omaavina. Näin Niinistö pikkuhiljaa profiloituu perussuomalaisia mielikuvia luovaksi presidentiksi. Keskitien kulkeminen ei voi tarkoittaa rasismin hyväksymistä.

Kenellekään tolkun ihmiselle ei ole epäselvää se, että suuri pakolaisten määrä asettaa haasteita ja tuo kustannuksia. Suomen vastaanottama pakolaismäärä on kuitenkin edelleen pieni verrattuna siihen, kuinka paljon vaikkapa läntinen naapurimaamme on ottanut vastaan jo vuosikymmenten ajan.

Tässä nykyisessä tilanteessa on tärkeää, että maamme korkein johto ei asetu vihankylväjien puolelle, sivuuttaa pelon kylvämisen ja rohkaisee kaikkia osallistumaan uusien asukkaiden kotouttamiseen ja kielen opettamiseen. Kokoomustaustaisen presidentin pitäisi myös aivan erityisesti rohkaista yrittäjiä palkkaamaan pakolaisia, vaikka vähän heikommallakin kielitaidolla. Työssä oppii. Pakolaisilla, toisin kuin perussuomalaiset mielikuvat kertovat, on valtava tarve sopeutua, oppia tavoille ja elää ihmisiksi, tehdä töitä ja elättää perheensä.

russian 3

Tee ahkerasti töitä kevät, kesä, syksy ja talvi – ja sato kasvaa!

Migrant Tales Literary: La vida entera

by

Ignacio Pérez Pérez

La vida entera

Pa escribir un poema

El mismo poema lloroso

Con pizcas de comedia

Y romanticismo rancio

La cosa son estas nubes grises

IMG_4289

El bansuri en tus audífonos

Las caras de piedra alrededor

El mantra de un amigo:

“No temo: yo amo”

Aquí conmigo como amuleto

La lentitud es una virtud

En estos tiempos que corren

Hay una aurora boreal

En el cielo de la boca

Pero nadie se da cuenta

Todos miran atentos sus celulares

Quizás intentan escribir poemas

Como éste fulano de tal

Que surge y desaparece

A cada momento

El infierno en éste mundo

Es vivir con miedo

El fascismo interior se vence

Con una nariz roja

Soy tan feliz en el sauna

Masoquismo suave del primer mundo

Sólo el amor salva

Sí lloraría mis lágrimas serían perlas

Cuántos paisajes perdidos en mis ojos

He llegado adonde siempre he estado

Pongo mi corazón en la mesa

Se puede llegar a ser

Infelizmente feliz

Sólo aspiro poder respirar tranquilo

Escribir palabras que abracen

Con el poder de la atención activa

Me doy cuenta:

No soy más que un bicho raro que camina

Éste frio del diablo es mi monasterio

President Sauli Niinistö claims that asylum seekers threaten Finland and Europe

by

Speaking to MPs at the opening of parliament’s spring term, President Sauli Niinistö didn’t surprise a lot of people by stating that the amount of asylum seekers coming to Europe are putting under threat our values, reports YLE News. He even went as far as to suggest that if the Geneva Conventions were written today they’d be stricter.

If the government, politicians and President Niinistö have been blamed in the past for giving mixed statements about asylum seekers and immigrants, the latest speech by Finland’s head of state left nobody guessing.

“Migration is a serious problem,” he said. “Europe, Finland, the western way of thinking and our values have all been challenged by it. This is a stark transformation; just a few years ago we were exporting our values and regarded them as unquestionable, now we are having to consider whether even we ourselves can preserve them.”


Näyttökuva 2016-2-3 kello 22.43.44

Read full story here.

President Niinistö not only revealed his anti-immigration views clearer than ever before but the source of Finland’s xenophobia: Migration should be seen as a threat and not as an asset.

(more…)

Ei minun puhemieheni – Inte min talman!

by

Suomen henkinen alamäki jatkuu. Uuden istuntokauden aluksi eduskunta valitsi jälleen rasistisen ja yhtäläistä ihmisarvoa kunnioittamattoman henkilön puhemieheksi. Valtakunnan toiseksi arvokkaimmassa virassa on henkilö, joka on vaaleissa ja niiden jälkeen käyttänyt erittäin kyseenalaisia kampanjakeinoja ja osoittanut omaavansa hyvin rajoittuneen ja sivistymättömän maailmankuvan.

Inte min talman

Lähde: Facebook

Lohela pyrkii selkeästi kiistämään uskonnonvapauden maassamme ja kehottaa muslimeita pysymään omissa maissaan. Tämä on todella outoa myös siksi, että suurin osa maamme islaminuskoisista on tullut maahan pakolaisina, hädänalaisina ja kaiken menettäneinä.

Näin kirjoitti Suomen eduskunnan puhemies eduskuntavaalikampanjansa aikana:

“Minun mielestäni muslimit voivat lukea ohjeitaan juuri siitä kirjasta mistä parhaaksi näkevät, rukoilla matoillaan vaikka 50 kertaa päivässä ja noudattaa Sharia-lakiaan kaikkia sen äärimmäisyyksiä myöten, mutta heidän tulee tehdä se omissa islaminuskoisissa maissaan, joissa eletään kyseisen uskonnon ja sen luoman kulttuurin mukaan.”

Lohela myös kyseli, ovatko islaminuskoiset mörköjä ja totesi ennakkoluuloisen, liioittelevan ja valheellisen kirjoituksensa lopuksi heidän olevan ei vain mörköjä, vaan myös uhka meikäläiselle elämäntyylille:

“Näistä näkökulmista katsoen islaminuskoon vannovat eivät ole pelkkiä mörköjä, mielikuvituksen tuotteita, joita lymyilee sängyn alla ja metsän siimeksessä. Islam ei ole pelkkä uskonto, vaan se on politiikkaa, elämäntapa ja lain kirjain. Euroopan tulee pohtia minkä verran sijaa se haluaa antaa uskontoon perustuvalle maailmankatsomukselle. Me olemme omat sotamme uskonnon kahleita vastaan käyneet keskiajan pimeinä vuosina. Islam tarvitsee oman valistusaikansa.”

Pelottelunsa vahvistukseksi Lohela julkaisi kuvan Tove Janssonin möröstä. Nyt tuo möröillä pelottelija on maamme ja etenkin suomalaisten naisten edustaja maailmalla. Tämäkö siis on se kuva, jonka Suomen eduskunta haluaa antaa naisistamne ja uskonto- ja islamkäsityksistämne miljardeille omaa uskontoaan rauhanomaisesti harjoittaville muslimeille ja koko muulle maailmalle?

Lohela mörkö

Maria Lohelan blogista

Puhemiesrouvan vähemmistöjen halveksinta ei ulotu pelkästään turvapaikanhakijoihin. Homoseksuaalien yhtäläiset oikeudet kieltävä ja pirullinen, suorastaan silmille sylkäisevä oli ehdotus, että heidän tulisi tyytyä siihen, että lakihan sallii heidän mennä naimisiin vastakkaisen sukupuolen kanssa:

“Se, että seksuaalisesti samaan sukupuoleen vetoa tuntevat ihmiset eivät käytännössä pysty avioliittoon vastakkaisen sukupuolen kanssa, ei kuitenkaan tarkoita, että lain soveltaminen olisi jotenkin epätasa-arvoinen. Homoseksuaaleillakin on oikeus mennä naimisiin vastakkaisen sukupuolen kanssa, jos he niin haluaisivat. Kolmella ihmisellä ei kuitenkaan ole oikeutta mennä naimisiin keskenään, vaikka haluaisivat.”

On jo riittävän vastenmielistä se, että tuollaisella retoriikalla yleensä on niin paljon kannatusta, että sillä voi päästä eduskuntaan. Henkilö, joka on valinnut agendalleen ihmisvastaisia ja syrjiviä teemoja, on jokaiselle ajattelevalle ja sivistyneelle ihmiselle osoittanut, että hänellä ei ole Suomen kansalle mitään hyvää annettavaa. Se, että perussuomalaisten johdossa juuri rasistista ja syrjivää kampanjointia harjoittavat henkilöt ovat niitä, jotka läpäisevät sen kuuluisan tiheän kamman ja pääsevät puolueen ehdokkaiksi, on selkeä osoitus siitä, millaista politiikkaa puolue tekee ja haluaa tehdä.

Juuri valittu puhemies julkaisi muutaman päivän ennen valintaa Turun Sanomissa kirjoituksen, jossa hän jatkaa poliittista kampanjaa maahanmuuttajia vastaan. Nyt jo hiljainen tieto puhuu, rouva on jo sellaisessa asemassa rasistien joukossa, että hänen ei enää tarvitse käyttää kaikkein rumimpia ilmaisuja, vaan hän voi hyvitellä perussuomalaisia ja muita rasisteja vaikkapa tällaisin, kierrätetyin halla-aholaisin sanakääntein:

”On naiivia kuvitella, että hyvin erilaisesta kulttuurista tuleva henkilö rajan ylitettyään omaksuu suomalaisen yhteiskunnan arvot ja käytöskoodin.”

”Kun hyvinäkään taloudellisina aikoina Suomessa toteutetulla kotouttamispolitiikalla ei ole saavutettu riittäviä tuloksia, ei nykyinen malli voi toimia taloudellisesti huonona aikana tulijoiden määrän ollessa jopa kymmenkertainen.”

Vain hyvin pahantahtoinen ihminen ajattelee, ja halua kiihottaa muutkin ajattelemaan, että pakolaiset, jotka ovat henkensä kaupalla lähteneet kodeistaan ja nyt anovat maastamme turvapaikkaa, eivät haluaisi noudattaa maamme lakeja. Suomen eduskunnan puhemies on yksi tällainen ”ajattelija”. Inte min talman.

Kun yksi perussuomalaisia rasistisia ajatuksia ahkerasti jakanut ja halla-aholaiseen rasistijoukkioon julkisesti kuuluva henkilö vielä toisenkin kerran valitaan eduskunnan puhemieheksi, ei voi muuta kuin todeta, että eduskunta on täynnä näitä uuden määritelmän mukaisia tolkun ihmisiä: kansansa edustajia, jotka kyllä näkevät, mitä rasistit tekevät, ovat huomanneet, että rasismi ja vähemmistöihin kohdistuva henkinen ja fyysinen väkivalta lisääntyvät, MUTTA HE EIVÄT VÄLITÄ. He ovat, kuten tasavallan presidenttikin toivoo, aivan hiljaa, etteivät tulisi leimatuksi ääripääksi.

Juuri näin kävi 30-luvun Saksassa. Pikku hiljaa, askel askeleelta, me kuljemme samaa tietä. Salaa mielessään nämä ”tolkun ihmiset” toivovat, että rasistit hoitavat homman, estävät väärän väristen ja vääristä kulttuureista tulevien ihmisten maahanpääsyn ja tekevät jo maassa olevien elämän riittävän hankalaksi ja tolkun ihmiset saavat touhuta rauhassa omia pikku asioitaan, eikä kukaan koskaan syytä heitä sattuneista hirveyksistä, he kun vain olivat hiljaa.

Se on virhe. Saattaa nimittäin olla niin, että te, jotka vielä nytkin vaikenette, vaikka olette nähneet, mitä on tapahtumassa, olette hiljalleen liukumassa ääriryhmään. Te mahdollistatte ja siten sallitte vihapuheet, maahanmuuttajien päivittäin kohtaaman rasismin, oman väen pelottelun ja hysteerisiksi menneet pikkukylien tytöt ja naiset, sekä sairaalloisia piirteitä sisältävän poliittisten toimijoiden ja kansalaiskeskustelijoiden häirinnän ja uhkailun. Ihan mitä vain, kunhan saatte itse olla rauhassa ja esiintyä muka tasapuolisina poliittisina keskustelijoina. Ihan kaikille ei ehkä enää edes ole selvää se, että rasismi, uusfasismi ja uusnatsismi eivät ole sama kuin ”maassa maan tavalla”.

Mitä kertoo historiankirjoitus 50 vuoden päästä Suomen tapahtumista? Kuka on vastuussa yhteiskuntarauhan rikkoutumisesta, vainajista vastaanottokeskuksissa, vähemmistöjen pahoinvoinnista, syrjäytymisestä ja eriarvoistumisesta? Kuka tolkun ihminen tiesi, mutta vaikeni?

Nobody in Finland seems too concerned about the ever-xenophobic and hostile climate against asylum seekers, migrants and minorities

by

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä of Finland when he announced in September that he would offer his home to asylum seekers but has now put on hold such plans due to security reasons, reports the BBC. What is surprising is that nobody seems to care too much why it’s no longer safe to house asylum seekers in the prime minister’s home in Kempele. 

What this news reveals, and the reaction of the Finnish media to it is that xenophobia and anti-immigration nationalism aren’t considered threats.

Disagree?

Why doesn’t any editorial in Finland ask if the mixed statements by the police and the government concerning vigilante street gangs in Finland  weren’t due to poorly planned statements but that there are bigots in the police and government who see immigration and immigrants as a threat.

 

Näyttökuva 2016-2-2 kello 7.00.04
Read full story here.

(more…)

Call the Loldiers of Odin if you see anti-immigrant vigilantes patrolling the street!

by

Thanks to the mixed statements by the police, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government and President Sauli Niinistö concerning asylum seekers, we have today as well vigilante groups like the Soldiers of Odin and neo-Nazi Kansalinen Vastarinta patrolling our streets. Many of the members of these vigilante groups have criminal and far-right backgrounds.

The hesitancy of the police, the government and the president to condemn what is and what isn’t racist and far-right behavior is at the heart of the problem. Their mixed statements have not only fed xenophobia and far-right groups in this country but are tarnishing our international image.

Aren’t we supposed to be a beacon of hope to those fleeing war and poverty? Aren’t we supposed to have one of the best educational systems in the world? Haven’t we built a successful Nordic welfare society based on social equality? Why are we then acting like a bunch of scared people who have never seen foreigners before?

My experience, and I’m certain that of many others like me, with the police has eroded trust in this public service. One only has to read a few lines of former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* councilman Olli Sademies’ Facebook page or hear MP Tom Packalén’s bigoted views about migrants and minorities understand that there is a deep suspicion of anything that isn’t white and Finnish.

Does the police treat me fairly or is my background a factor? Honestly, I don’t know. The police have done little to ensure me of the contrary.

How many black policemen are there in Finland?

Probably one.

(more…)

Finland’s wishful thinking of populism and racism

by

Compared with four or six years ago, the level of xenophobia and anti-immigration sentiment has reached fever pitch in Finland. There is so much news and labeling against asylum seekers and our ever-growing culturally diverse community that it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with all that’s being written. 

Moreover, perceptions like rising crime and rape cases caused by asylum seekers are being constantly reinforced by one party in the government – the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* – with the blessings of the two other partners,  the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP).

Like the Center Party and NCP, the police drags as well its feet and plays down the rise of racism and the threat of far-right groups in Finland with their silence and tacit ideological support of anti-immigration groups.

Looking at Finland today and its eroding international image due to xenophobia the government and institutions like the police service have fueled the growth of racism and far-right groups in Finland with their silence and mixed statements.

Näyttökuva 2016-1-30 kello 9.35.26
Read full story here.

(more…)

Does Luona treat asylum seekers with dignity or as livestock?

by

Finland saw a record number of asylum seekers come to the country last year. These 32,500 people that traveled far from countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia, have found temporary housing in asylum reception centers. Who watches over, never mind defends, their rights?

Like there are many types of people there are as well many types of asylum reception centers. Some do a good job with their limited resources while others, like Luona, a private company, receive a lot of complaints.

Luona, which is a subsidiary of Barona, houses 3,000 asylum seekers at its reception centers in Helsinki, Espoo, and Vantaa. Paavo Voutilainen, Luona’s director of the board, is a former Helsinki social manager who got fired for infringement of duties.

____________________________________________________________________________

Näyttökuva 2016-1-29 kello 16.18.16
Luona’s web page claims that it strives to take into account the person’s background, special needs, and dignity.

__________________________________________________________________________

Two politicians sit on Luona’s board: former MP Ulpu Iivari of the Social Democratic Party and National Coalition Party MP Sanna-Liisa Lauslahti.

Business is booming these days for Luona thanks to the crisis in the Middle East. Some estimates claim that the state pays the company 40 euros a day per each asylum seeker, or about 1,500 euros a month. The total annual cost amounts to about 35 million euros.

Luona has been the center of controversy. In early January, an Afghani asylum seeker died of a brain hemorrhage. Did Luona do enough to avoid the death of the Afghani? Was their inadequate treatment? We don’t know.

There hasn’t been an independent investigation to clear up the matter.

Another source of complaint by asylum seekers is their poor and humiliating treatment by Luona. One of them told Migrant Tales that they are treated like livestock.

(more…)

BOX STORY: Mohammed Saleh Muhsin

by

Mohammed Saleh Muhsin, 26, is one of the many thousands of young Iraqi asylum seekers that came to Finland in the fall. Like many of his countrymen, he too speaks of the violence and strife strangling Iraq. 

He spoke to Migrant Tales about his treatment at two of Luona’s reception centers.

“I arrived on September 23 in Tornio from Baghdad after travelling 35 days. I was sent the following day to an asylum reception center in Vantaa located on Sokkakuja 1.

I was treated well by the border guards in Tornio but I cannot say the same about the people who work at two Vantaa reception centers: the rooms where we slept were small and crowded. In the room I slept there were seven persons. Both buildings of the reception center first housed around 78 people but then it rose to about 300 when they closed another reception center near the airport in early December.

The food they serve is horrible and the portions are small. Breakfast consists of a slice of cheese, 2-3 slices of bread, yogurt and a small fruit. There is very little variety: chicken nuggets or meatballs with rice, salad without dressing and soup. I am usually hungry because they don’t serve enough food and because it’s so bad.

It’s a fact that we are mistreated daily by the staff and security guards. I know this not only from personal experience but because I was chosen by the other asylum seekers at the center to be their spokesman. Some of my tasks as represenative of the other asylum seekers also included translating and bringing complaints to the director from others.

The director would usually listen but nothing was done to solve our problems.

The security guards were especially unfriendly and they’d commonly address you like some of the staff with a cussword like vittu. In plain English we are treated with disrespect and in a racist manner. You can easily tell from them that your presence bothers them. None of the guards spoke Arabic. There was only one that spoke a little Turkish or Kurdish. We are treated like livestock that can be moved from one room to another.

All the asylum seekers at the center get paid a monthly assistance of 92 euros but it isn’t paid regularly on the same day. This is the reason why I paid a visit to the vice director in December and why they locked me up in a police cell for fifteen hours. That small amount of money we get means a lot to us. Life is expensive in Finland and with it we must buy many things like bus tickets, food, clothes, soap and other important items.

We had one manager who was good but she left in protest after being there for two and a half months. She didn’t like the way Luona treated us. A new manager was appointed but matters got worse.

When I went to inquire about the late payment of the 92 euros to other asylum seekers there was an interpreter present who spoke Arabic. He got cross and raised his voice at me. He told me in the presence of the manager that I should shut up and that I didn’t have any right to complain because I was a refugee and that the reception center isn’t a hotel. The manager stood in between us because she feared that a fight would erupt between us. The only thing I said was that my payment was late and that my human rights were being breached as a result. The manager assured me that the money would be paid at the end of December.

But then something else happened. Some security guards appeared and one of them handcuffed me from behind and took me out of the office. The police came 10 minutes later. Even if the interpreter told the police that I hadn’t threatened him, I was taken to the police station and locked up in a cell for fifteen hours from 2pm to 5am. The police never told me why I was arrested but they said I could file a complaint if I wanted.

I took the train back to the Vantaa reception center from the police station and thought everything was ok. When I got there I was told to go to the manager’s office and told that I’d be transferred to another center for “security reasons.” I was accompanied by a security guard and told I had 15 minutes to take all my belongings and would be transferred to another Luona reception center on Kutomotie 9 in Helsinki.”

 

 

Was the death of an Afghani asylum seeker at Luona’s reception center due to negligence?

by

Migrant Tales published on Friday a story where it asked about the circumstances of the death of an asylum seeker, Jayyed Abbas Jaffari (1995-2016), in early January that was staying at Luona’s reception center in Espoo. Was there negligence or not by the private company that runs reception centers in Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa?

Luona claims that there was no negligence, or inadequate treatment, concerning the death of the young Afghani asylum seeker at its reception center in Espoo’s Nihtisilta.

__________________________________________

Näyttökuva 2016-1-28 kello 9.03.30
Read full story here.

____________________________________________

But who should we believe? Has there been an independent investigation?

There are many unanswered questions not only about Jaffari but how asylum seekers are treated at Luona’s reception centers. While the Finnish Immigration Service (FIS) is responsible for the treatment of asylum seekers at reception centers, do they have adequate resources to do so?

(more…)

What Finland lacks to become a successful culturally diverse country like Canada

by

Anti-immigration populists and ultranationalist use the code term “immigration policy” to mean that they don’t want non-EU nationals especially Muslims from the Middle East and Africa to move to their country. Finland is no exception and some point to Canada as a good example we could copy when it comes to immigration policy.

Those that make such claims have no idea that Finland’s immigration policy is one of the strictest in Europe and they rarely if ever mention that Canada’s recipe for success is based on how Canadians perceive multiculturalism or cultural diversity.

Näyttökuva 2016-1-27 kello 9.03.19
Read full story here.

(more…)

Migrants and minorities of the Nordic region: It’s time to organize and face the rude music

by

Europe is in a moral quandary these days. It’s ironic that the more it attempts to instill a sense of security by building ever-higher outside boundaries and treat those who flee war, strife and poverty with disdain, the more it feeds our sense of insecurity. 

Denmark’s plans to confiscate asylum seekers’ valuables and delay for three years family reunification is one shameful example of how some countries in Europe are destroying their values in return for a false sense of security. For Norway, one of the most affluent countries in the world, to return asylum seekers to Russia is another example of the moral demise we are suffering today.

In Finland too the police and the government are unable to agree if neo-Nazi street patrol gangs or clowns that mock at them a threat to our society and values.

What do Denmark, Norway and Finland have in common? They are all Nordic countries and have populist anti-immigration parties in government. In Norway, we have the Progress Party (FrP), in Finland the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, and the Danish People’s Party (DPP).

But blaming these three anti-immigration parties for the rise of xenophobia in the Nordic region would be missing the point. All three parties are in government and have got more power in their respective countries thanks to the support and near-silence of the mainstream parties.

Without the help and support of these mainstream parties the FrP, PS and DPP would never have grown to have so much power.

Näyttökuva 2016-1-25 kello 22.42.36
The Finnish police arresting clowns who mock neo-Nazi street patrols.

(more…)

Migrants’ Right Network: Saving the gains of the Schengen agreement requires European solidarity on protection for refugees

by

Don Flynn*

Näyttökuva 2015-5-3 kello 12.52.32

 

 

 

Much of the news commentary on Europe seems to assume that the Schengen open borders arrangement will vanish in the next few months. That would be a disaster. Saving it will require a reversal of the current refusal of solidarity with countries at the frontline of the refugee flows.

The interior and home affairs ministers of the EU countries are gathering in Amsterdam today and tomorrow in in what is being described as an informal meeting to discuss the latest phase of the region’s migration crisis.

The current Dutch presidency of the EU has set the context for their discussion with the dire warning that the Schengen agreement will fail within two months if a way is not fund to contain the movement of refugees now spilling out across the continent.

Though the UK is not a member of the 26 country agreement it is expected to suffer the negative consequences if it collapses.  Schengen allows for the management of migration across 8,000 kilometres of external land borders as well as a sea frontier that extend for 40,000 kilometres.

It is usually reported as a measure which provides for free movement across the internal borders of the area it encompasses, but equally important is the role it plays in standardising checks on the admission of people moving across external borders.  Critics of the system have claimed that it is failing on this account, and the admission of over one million people seeking asylum in Europe during the course of 2015 has exposed its fundamental flaws.

(more…)

Does Finland treat asylum seekers with human dignity or as livestock?

by

Ever wonder why the media, the government never mind private companies running asylum reception centers in Finland are so quiet about the people they are giving shelter, food, and temporary protection? The mere fact that we know so little already raises a lot of questions like the Suomen Kuvalehti story about the death of an asylum seeker in early January in Espoo.

If we are fair, there are reception centers in Finland that treat asylum seekers with dignity irrespective of their limited resources.

Luona, a private company that runs asylum reception centers in Helsinki, Vantaa, and Espoo, claims that there was no negligence concerning the death of the young Afghani asylum seeker, Jayyed Abbas Jaffari (1995-2016), at its reception center in Nihtisilta.

But who should we believe? Has there been an independent investigation?

Some speculate that Luona, fearing a backlash after the death of the Afghani asylum seeker, got Ilta-Sanomat interested in the story. In the story, the company claims that there was no negligence. Others, however, believe the total opposite and go as far as to claim that the company used the Ilta-Sanomat story to cover up its negligence.

Asylum seekers at the center where the Afghani died of a brain hemorrhage state that he tried to get medical attention but the company refused it to him.

“He went for three consecutive days to ask for help from the nurse because he suffered from headaches,” a source told Migrant Tales. “Each time he was told by the nurse to take Burana and drink tea. On the fourth day he collapsed and died and was taken to the hospital.”

Here’s the million-euro question that the death of the Afghani exposes: Are asylum seekers at Luona’s reception centers given adequate medical attention or are they asked to buy Panadol or Burana for their pain?

 

Näyttökuva 2016-1-22 kello 19.12.57
Read full story here.

Why wouldn’t a reception center like Luona want to send asylum seekers to the hospital for treatment?

(more…)

Swimming hall in Finland bans all asylum seekers until the end of January

by

A good example of how some Finns label Others and how the media fuels the “us” and “them” mentality is when a teenage asylum seeker on Thursday was caught watching naked women taking showers at a local swimming hall in the Finnish town of Haukipudas, located 640km north of Helsinki.   

Apart from the incident being reported in Oulu-based daily Kaleva, it has received national attention in tabloids such as Iltalehti.

When the teenager was caught the swimming pool officials forced all of the asylum seekers to leave the premises and banned them from entering the hall for the whole month of January.

While it is a good matter that the non-discrimination ombudsman came out publically stating that barring all asylum seekers could be – and is – against the law, what is surprising is the reaction of the swimming hall officials.

(more…)

Muukalaisvihaa vastaan rauhanomaisin keinoin Kuopiossa

by

Tammikuisena maanantaina kokoontuu joukko eri lähtökohdista saapuvia ihmisiä yhteen lähellä Kuopion keskustaa. Ystävälliset tervehdykset ja esittelyt vaihtuvat pian vakavaan ja läpikotaiseen keskusteluun, jossa puidaan yhteistä tavoitetta yksityiskohtineen: puuttua toiminnan ja tiedonvälityksen avulla Suomen suurimpiin ksenofobian muotoihin, eli rasismiin ja muslimivihaan. Haluna on estää ja poistaa syrjintää sekä vihaa toimimalla paikallisesti.

”Uskon, että Suomi on lähinnä ksenofobinen maa. Täällä ei ole koskaan ollut vahvaa väkivallanhakuista rasismitoimintaa kuten esimerkiksi Yhdysvalloissa” kertoo Yhdysvalloissa syntynyt Muhammad-Adam Al-Sawad, yksi yhdistyksen perustajajäsenistä. ”Luulen, että Suomessa elävät pelot johtuvat lähinnä vaikeutuvassa tilanteessa kuoriutuneista huhuista, kuulopuheista sekä propagandasta. Kun talous kiristyy, kiristyy luonnostaan ilmapiirikin. Sekopäät ovat yksittäistapauksia, enkä minä ainakaan koe että pitäisi jotenkin täkäläisiä syyttää taikka yleistää, vaikka pennumpana olivatkin rasistien nyrkit, tiiliskivet ja puukot tuttuja. Täällä tuskin on hirveästi porukkaa, joka oikeasti vahvasti uskoisi johonkin vanhentuneeseen rotuoppiin. Siksi minusta on tärkeää osoittaa tavallisille kaduntallaajille ihan käytännön ja ammattilaisten kautta, minkälaisia eri kulttuurit ja uskonnot ovat. Tilannetta siis voi ja kannattaa mielestäni selvitellä ihan diplomatialla ja järjellä. Nykyinen ilmapiiri ei ole terve, koska liikkeellä on paljon tahoja, varsinkin netissä, jotka asiakseen levittävät väärää tietoa ja uhkakuvia kuvitteellisesta valloittajasta, tummasta islaminuskoisesta vihollislaumasta” hän jatkaa. ”Joihinkin se uppoaa, ja lopputuloksena on tilanne jossa suurin osa ulkomaalais-, ja muslimitaustaisista saavat niskaansa voimakasta syrjintää arjessaan. Kotikaupungissamme voi tavata sekä ulkomaalaisia, eri uskontojen edustajia, että kulttuuri- ja uskontotutkimuksen ammattilaisia. Siis omalla ovellamme on työkalut edistää yhdessä nykyistä tulehtunutta ilmapiiriä.” ”Meidän täytyy erityisesti keskittyä tuomaan esille tilastoja ja ammattitaitoista tietoa, jolla osoittaa huhut suoraan vääriksi.” toteaa Johan Salonen, hänkin perustajajäsen. Nopeasti siis värvätään jo ensimmäinen ammattilainen mukaan toimintaan. Kuopiossa asuva kulttuuriantropologian ja vertailevan uskontotieteen dosentti Thomas McElwain lupautuu ilomielin mukaan järjestämään uskontojenvälisiä keskusteluiltoja ja luentoja. Samalla suunnitellaan jo julkisia tapahtumia sekä kesäksi torikojuja Kuopioon.

Näin syntyy KuRI, Kuopion rasismin ja islamofobian vastainen yhdistys. Pian päätetäänkin yhdistyksen pyrkimys- ja toimintakuvaus.

”KuRI pyrkii parantamaan paikallista tulehtunutta ilmapiiriä, ehkäisemään syrjintää ja korjaamaan vahingollisia syrjintää ja väkivaltaa luovia ennakkoasenteita tukemalla uskontojenvälistä vuoropuhelua, järjestämällä monikulttuurisuutta edistävää toimintaa sekä kampanjoimalla vahingollisia huhuja ja urbaaneja legendoja vastaan, joilla vahingoitetaan vähemmistöjä sekä niiden kykeneväisyyttä olla osana yhteiskuntaa.

Suomessa rasismi ja muslimiviha ovat yleistyneet yleisessä ilmapiirissä niin, että useimmat ulkomaalaiset, erityisesti afrikkalais- ja arabitaustaiset, sekä moni muslimi taustastaan riippumatta, kokevat syrjinnän ja vihan tuovan konkreettisia ongelmia arkielämäänsä sekä vakavia vaikeuksia pysyä osana yhteiskuntaa vihan ja syrjinnän ollessa yleistä ja arkipäiväistä. Haluamme rauhanomaisesti, diplomaattisesti ja järkevästi kantaa vastuumme Kuopion alueella rauhan ja turvallisuuden puolesta.

Täten pyrimme positiivisen toiminnan kautta tukemaan ryhmien välistä yhtenäisyyttä ja ymmärrystä, pitämällä esimerkiksi erilaisia kulttuuri-iltoja ja muita julkisia tapahtumia, tarjoten mahdollisuuden tutustumiseen ja konkreettisemman yhteyden luomiseen kantasuomalaisten ja ulkomaalaistaustaisten välille. Uskomme, että paikallinen ksenofobia juontaa juurensa ryhmienvälisestä etäisyydestä ja tietämättömyydestä, joten pyrimme ratkaisemaan pelon ja vihan ongelmaa tuomalla pelätty ja vihattu tutuksi, vaikkapa etnoruoan sekä etnomusiikin avulla, sekä esimerkiksi ulkomaalaistaustaisiin sekä heidän kulttuuriperintöönsä tutustumisen ja sen ymmärtämisen kautta, jolla voitaisiin korvata huhut ja kuulopuheet.

Toimintaamme kuuluu myös esimerkiksi uskontojenvälisen vuoropuhelun järjestäminen, tarjoten foorumin jolla alan ammattilaiset voivat vastata kysymyksiin ja rikkoa huhuista ja juoruista lähteviä ennakkoasenteita. Samalla annetaan mahdollisuus tutustua uskontoihin niiden harjoittajien näkökulmasta sekä vähemmistöihin niiden edustajien välityksellä.”

Liikkeen idea lähti alun perin aiheesta, jonka tiimoilta Al-Sawad on kirjoittanut yli 2000 kertaa jaetun tekstin siitä, miten nykysuomessa ulkomaalais- ja muslimitaustaiset ovat työnnettyinä nurkkaan. Tilanteeseen, jossa heidät on osittain puskettu ulos yhteiskunnasta ja yhteenkuuluvuudesta.* ”Haluan kantaa korteni kekoon sen eteen, että voimme yhdessä pitää kotiamme kotina ilman syrjintää ja väkivaltaa.” kommentoi Adam.

Yhdistyksen hallitukseen kuuluvat puheenjohtaja Muhammad-Adam Al-Sawad, varapuheenjohtaja Johan Salonen, sihteeri Aku Kervinen, rahastonhoitaja Janne Mikkola, sekä varajäsenet Anna Maria McElwain, Sakari Laitinen ja Ako Nyman.

Yhdistykseen saa yhteyden osoitteella kuriavihaan@gmail.com

*: https://www.migranttales.net/facebook-tama-on-avunhuuto-koska-voimani-hiipuvat-vaha-vahalta/

Roble Bashir: Why does the Perussuomalaiset party of Finland back vigilante gangs?

by

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED

What’s in it for the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party when they back these notorious vigilante gangs? The whole concept of vigilante gangs emerged due to fear of immigrants by some Finns. These gangs have spread instead fear among immigrants.

Some of my Somali and African friends asked me how is this possible that there are now vigilante gangs in Finland. 

It may be a politicized issue but when we see how some ministers came out with wishy-washy statements about the whole affair some of us started to worry.

What’s in it for the PS and why do they support this notorious idea? Is it because they need desperately an issue to raise their poll standings, which have plummeted recently? 

These vigilante gangs are the stuff of lawless states and weak governments that exist in insecure and violent countries but not of modern and peaceful ones like Finland.

The PS is the only party that mostly support anti-immigrant issues. In the last elections, the PS promised their followers that they will run a tight ship when it comes to immigration. Even so, refugees have flooded Finland during their watch in government.

(more…)

Finland must get off its whining horse and seek proactive solutions to the asylum seeker situation

by

Like many anti-immigration politicians, even former National Police Commissioner Mikko Paatero believes that there is some magic number that we shouldn’t cross concerning the number of asylum seekers that arrive to our country. In 2015, a record 32,000 asylum seekers came to Finland.  How many arrive this year is an open question. 

“I don’t believe that Finland could take in as many [asylum seekers] as last year,” Paatero was quoted as saying in Uusi Suomi. “I’m worried if this year 30,000 asylum seekers [arrive in Finland] and [even if] half of them get residence permits.”

Everyone will agree that Finland is a more affluent and developed country today than it was in 1944 when some 420,000 Karelian refugees were resettled after the war in Finland.  Why didn’t such a large number of refugees destroy Finland back then?

The answer to the question is simple: If there is a will there is a way. Today there is no will for asylum seekers and, therefore, no way or solution except for near-continuous whining.

The impact of the Winter War (1939-40), Continuation War (1941-44) and Lapland War (1944-45), tens of thousands of Finnish deaths and the deep traumas left by war weren’t insurmountable obstacles in finding a solution to hundreds of thousands of Karelian refugees. Why are we then whining about a 32,000 asylum seekers today?

The question exposes the problem: We are an island in Europe where myths and fears like “the Russians are coming” have fed our mistaken nationalism for decades. Too many politicians and Finns don’t see it but our negative attitude towards everything that isn’t “Finnish” is hurting us as a society. We are paying a steep price for our xenophobia in the way of economic, social and political development. 

We don’t need to look too far to understand the latter. Since 2011 we have seen the rise of a populist anti-immigration party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* whose only attribute is whining about migration and scapegoating such people. Considering that we are an island in Europe, should we be surprised that such a party has caught our imagination and attention?

Considering that we are an island in Europe, should we be surprised that such a party has caught our imagination and attention?

(more…)

Defining white Finnish privilege #26: Are you an ethnic Finn?

by

Have you ever thought why the term kantasuomalainen, or “ethnic Finn,” has become a common word among white Finns. Why is this term used today and why wasn’t it used before?

What those the word “ethnic Finn” relay to those who are migrants and minorities?

If the term “ethnic Finn” has become more common why are migrants and minorities still referred to by ethnic Finns as “person with foreign background?” Moreover, we should ask if the term “ethnic Finn” pitted against “person with foreign background” promotes social equality.

In my opinion, it does just the opposite. The term, which shows that the majority needs a term that distinguishes them from Others, emphasizes “us” and “them” in Finland.

Definition #26

The term ethnic Finn is a good example of how white Finnish privilege exists and manifests itself in this country.

(more…)

Migrant Tales Literary: Estoy aquí

by

por Ignacio Pérez Pérez*

ESTOY AQUI

Qué más le queda
A un pobre diablo como yo
Más que estar en el infierno
Hellsinki se llama esto
Lo digo en broma pero hablo en serio
El frío es un incendio
Vengo del reino del sol
A ésta noche blanca que quema
Abro mi tercer ojo
Veo: estar aquí
Es un regalo
Es una locura
Es maravilloso

MTliterary (more…)

Finnish police service claims that sexual harassment is new in Finland’s sexual crime history

by

Finnish deputy chief of police of Helsinki, Ilkka Koskimäki, is the latest representative of the police service whose statements have left people scratching their heads. He’s quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph: “This phenomenon [sexual harassment] is new in Finnish sexual crime history. We have never before had this kind of sexual harassment happening at New Year’s Eve.”

Really? Finnish women have never before been harassed sexually by Finnish men?

If Koskimäki is in the dark about the long and ugly history of sexual harassment of women in Finland, he should go out and interview some of the victims. And there are many of them.

Sexual harassment became illegal in 2014 but it doesn’t mean, like Koskimäki claims, that it is a “new” phenomenon even if the law is. What he said is misleading and serves to label all asylum seekers in a negative manner in Finland.

Koskimäki isn’t the only police service representative that has left people awed. Earilier this month we read about East Uusimaa Detective Chief Inspector Markku Tuominen’s advice that Finns should leave rapidly if a foreigner wants to make contact with them.

That’s not all. There’s been some statements by National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen and Justice Minister Jari Lindström who are in favor of street patrol gangs while Interior Minister Petteri Orpo  has said that they are not necessary because they fuel insecurity.

Näyttökuva 2016-1-10 kello 23.37.51
Read full story here.

The recent statement by Koskimäki shows that the Finnish police service has a lot to learn about policing and serving a culturally diverse society.

(more…)

Miksi Helsingin apulaispoliisijohtaja syyllistää seksuaalirikoksista pelkästään turvapaikanhakijat?

by

Suomalainen nainen, lähes jokainen ihan tavallinen nainen, joutuu joskus elämässään seksuaalisen häirinnän tai ahdistelun kohteeksi. Näin voinen päätellä siksikin, että minunkin kohdalleni ahdistelua on sattunut jo useamman kerran 57-vuotisen elämäni aikana, vaikka en ole koskaan ollut erityisen hyvännäköinen, seksikäs tai pyrkinyt tekemään lähempää tuttavuutta vieraiden miesten kanssa. Työpaikan juhlissa työkaverit ja jopa esimiehet ovat käyneet kiinni pakaroihin, tanssilattialla suudelleet vastaanpyristelystä ja selkeästä kiellosta huolimatta kiihkeästi kaulalle, tuntematon vastaantulija on työntänyt kadulla käden jalkoväliin.

Kaikille on tuttu asia myös se, että kaduilla ja metsässä on kautta aikojen tapahtunut raiskauksia tai raiskauksen yrityksiä. Lähes jokaisessa kaupungissa on joku kolkka, puistonsyrjä, pururata tai metsäpolku, jota kehotetaan tästä syystä välttämään. Ulkona tapahtuneet raiskaukset saavat aina suurta huomiota, niistä puhutaan pitkään ja ne muistetaan sukupolvesta toiseen.

Suurin osa raiskauksistakin jää kuitenkin ilmoittamatta poliisille, seksuaalisesta ahdistelusta puhumattakaan. Alkaisi varmaankin olla aika ilmoittaa, kun Helsingin poliisin apulaispäällikön tietämys asiasta on sillä tasolla, että naisten häirintä on Suomessa uusi ilmiö, joka liittyy pelkästään maahan viime vuonna tulleisiin turvapaikanhakijoihin. Ja hivenen näyttäisi siltä, että ihmiset on turvapaikanhakijoihin liittyen peloteltu niin syvästi, että vierasmaalaisten miesten toimista tehdään ilmoituksia jopa silloin, kun turvapaikanhakija kaupan hyllyjen välissä etenee kahden metrin etäisyydelle suomalaisesta naisesta.

Tehkäämme siis me naiset selväksi se, että meitä eivät saa seksuaalisesti ahdistella minkään maalaiset miehet, eivät omat eivätkä vieraat. Puhun nyt etenkin sellaisesta ahdistelusta, joka uuden, 1.9.2014 voimaan tulleen lain mukaan on rikos. Laki on niin uusi, että rohkenen epäillä, että vain harvat naiset tietävät, että seksuaalisesta ahdistelusta voi nyt tehdä rikosilmoituksen.

Suomen laki määrittelee seksuaalisen ahdistelun näin:

”Joka koskettelemalla tekee toiselle seksuaalisen teon, joka on omiaan loukkaamaan tämän seksuaalista itsemääräämisoikeutta, on tuomittava, jollei teosta muualla tässä luvussa säädetä rangaistusta, seksuaalisesta ahdistelusta sakkoon tai vankeuteen enintään kuudeksi kuukaudeksi”.

Seksuaalisesta ahdistelusta voidaan tuomita sakkoja tai enintään puoli vuotta vankeutta.

Sanallinen seksuaalinen häirintä ei edelleenkään ole rikoslaissa määritelty seksuaalirikos. Tasa-arvolaissa seksuaalinen häirintä työpaikoilla on kielletty ja vaatii (vaatisi) aina esimiehen puuttumisen asiaan. Siitä voidaan myös tuomita jollain muulla rikosnimikkeellä, esimerkiksi kunnianloukkauksena.

Lokakuun loppuun mennessä v. 2015, siis runsaan vuoden aikana, uuden lain perusteella tehtyjä ilmoituksia seksuaalisesta ahdistelusta oli kirjattu 450, niistä n. 200 kohdistui samaan epäiltyyn. Rikoskomisario Teija Koskenmäki on Helsingin Sanomissa kertonut lain soveltamisesta näin: ”Se tarkoittaa tyypillisesti tapauksia, joissa joku koskettaa toista henkilöä luvatta genitaalialueelle, pakaroihin tai rintoihin niin, että kohdehenkilö kokee teon seksuaalisena”.

Raiskauksista ilmoittaminen on viime vuosina vähän lisääntynyt, mutta aivan liian usein tuttavien tai omien miesten kotona tai kavereiden teinijuhlissa tekemät raiskaukset jätetään ilmoittamatta. Tämä, paitsi että se jättää rikolliset vaille rangaistusta, vääristää tilastoja ja ihmisten tietoisuutta siitä, että raiskauksista Suomessa ovat edelleen suurimmaksi osaksi vastuussa syntyperäiset suomalaiset miehet.

Perussuomalaisen puolueen rasistijoukkion agendalla ovat ulkosalla tapahtuneet raiskaukset olleet vuosikaudet yksi kansanryhmää vastaan kiihottamisen tärkeimmistä osasista. On esimerkiksi yhä uudelleen vedottu Norjan poliisin v. 2010 teettämään tutkimukseen Oslon raiskauksista ja väitetty, että kaikki puskaraiskaukset ovat ulkomaalaissyntyisten tekemiä. Unohdetaan kuitenkin mainita, että tutkimusvuonna syytteen sai vain viisi henkilöä, jotka kaikki kylläkin olivat muualta muuttaneita. Unohdettiin mainita myös se, että Norjan poliisi totesi yksiselitteisesti, että kaikki väitteet siitä, että raiskaajat olisivat pääosin ulkomaalaisia ja lisäksi muslimeja, ovat täysin vailla perää.

Kun meillä nyt Helsingin poliisin korkea-arvoinen johtaja jakelee juuri samankaltaisia, rasistiselta kalskahtavia väitteitä, herää paljonkin kysymyksiä. Onko tosiaan niin, että pääkaupunkimme apulaispoliisijohtajan tittelin on saanut täysin viaton mies, joka ei tiedä, että meillä ovat miehet ahdistelleet naisia? Jos näin ei ole, mikä on poliisijohtajan agenda? Onko tarpeellista herättää kansalaisten kiinnostus nimenomaan muutamaan turvapaikanhakijan tai maahanmuuttajan tekemään ahdisteluun vai olisiko korkea-arvoisen poliisivirkamiehen syytä kiinnittää huomiota naisten ahdisteluun ja kansalaisten turvallisuuteen yleensä? Suurimmassa osassa tapauksistahan tekijöinä ovat kuitenkin suomalaiset miehet, jotka – omien sanojensa mukaan – ovat turvapaikanhakijoita sivistyneempiä ja fiksumpia ja kunnioittavat Suomen lakia ja naisten itsemääräämisoikeutta. Miksi meitä naisia kuitenkin on aina häiritty, ahdisteltu ja raiskattu?

Samaisen apulaisjohtajan erikoisia sanomisia on esitelty myös saksalaislehdessä. Saksassahan Kölnin uudenvuoden ikävät tapahtumat ovat vielä uutiskeskiössä. Onko Suomen poliisi nyt liittynyt eurooppalaiseen muslimivastaiseen kiihotusliikkeeseen, kun se antaa ymmärtää, että Suomessa ovat ensimmäiset naisiin kohdistuneet ahdistelutapaukset yhtäkkiä ilmestyneet kaduille, kun Suomessa on tavallista enemmän pakolaisia? Kuka on antanut Helsingin poliisin apulaisjohtajalle luvan toimia näin? Huomasin, että rasistisivustoilla perätään poliisijohtajalle sananvapautta, mutta eikö ole niin, että poliisin virassa haastattelun antavan poliisin on ehdottomasti pysyttävä asiallisena ja puolueettomana ja ennen kaikkea – totuudessa?

Kenen vastuulla on se, että Suomen poliisi pysyy rehellisesti asiassa ja tiedottaa lietsomatta muukalaisvihaa? Mihin rasistinen kiihottaminen voi lopulta johtaa, jos jopa poliisi siihen osallistuu?

The Perussuomalaiset decade (2011-19): Finland’s rendezvous with xenophobia and nationalism

by

Here’s the question we all know the answer to concerning the rise and fall of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party during this decade: We accomplished nothing, absolutely nothing, polarized society, scapegoated migrants and Muslims and lied through our teeth with poker faces.

Our decade-long rendezvous with right-wing populism and xenophobia has had a negative political and economic impact on this country in many ways.

If there are two words that describe in this adverse political and social environment the actions of the police service, government and public the terms are lost and mixed.

A good example of how lost our police service is when it comes to cultural diversity is to read the string of mixed statements about street patrol gangs. First they say it’s ok but later on retrack.

Why does the police service, when it gives the green light to far-right white supremicist groups like the Soldiers of Odin, conveniently forget that such gangs are a direct threat to migrants, asylum seekers, minorities and to local residents?

Why did Prime Minister Juha Sipilä first offer his home to refugees but then claims that asylum seekers in Finland are a bigger threat than the economy?

(more…)

Roble Bashir: Do we need vigilante gangs in Finland?

by

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED

When I read the news about the vigilante gangs whose aim is to “protect” civilians from asylum seekers, I was naturally shocked. What surprised me, even more, was that the police hasn’t done much to discourage these types of street patrols.

These streets patrols by groups like the Soldiers of Odin do more harm than good because they are dangerous and the real culprits.

Their presence in public and the media is an act of violence, especially if you’re not a white Finn. Whatever their name may be, Soldiers of Odin or Asikkala-Turva, what they are promoting is white supremacist crimes never mind hindering the police in offering security.

Apart from the potential of harassing asylum seekers and migrants in Finland, they are a risk to people like myself and are a threat. 

The other matter that surprised me was how the rise of racism in Finland has provoked attacks against asylum seekers and migrants. I wouldn’t be surprised if these types of groups would be behind some of recent and future arson attacks against asylum reception centers.

Discrimination and prejudice will not go away but worsen in Finland as long as these groups are allowed to roam our streets freely and take, even if they claim not to, the law in their hands.

Apart from fuelling more insecurity, there is no security crisis in Finland or the need for such vigilante gangs.

Vigilante gangs, the Finnish police service and our denial of racism

by

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED

The big news story in Finland today is vigilante gangs by xenophobic, far-right and neo-Nazi groups. That’s not all. Some of the members of these vigilante gangs have criminal records.

Should we be surprised?

Not really. The political and xenophobic atmosphere in Finland is ideal for the growth of such vigilante gangs.

Näyttökuva 2016-1-6 kello 8.16.12
Neo-Nazi gangs with criminal records patrol the streets of Finnish towns and cities.

I use the term “gang” to describe these groups because for non-white Finns they don’t offer any sense of security but severely undermine it. Such vigilante gangs are a nasty reminder of Finland’s racism problem and how it is has come to back haunt us from the 1990s.

These vigilante gangs are as well a good example of how something racist in Finland gets national attention and becomes mainstream and a household word.

The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* are the best example of how racism and hostility against migrants, minorities, and cultural diversity become mainstream and acceptable by the political establishment, media, and public. While our attention is on groups like the Soldiers of Odin the real culprits are the PS and us, who give them the benefit of the doubt and a platform for their racist views.

As long as the PS are in power and as long as the Center Party and National Coalition Party need their support in government to trim the welfare state, matters will get worse in Finland for migrants, minorities and our culturally diverse community.

How did racism become an instant political hit in Finland? The answer is that there was little to no opposition to it. The reason why there is too little opposition to such a social ill reveals our denial and how we play down the problem collectively. Racism doesn’t affect white Finns directly so there’s no reason to be too worried about the issue.

(more…)

Finnish police service of Häme give the green light to vigilante gangs in Asikkala

by

THIS POST WAS UPDATED

If the comments and actions of politicians and the police service in 2015 are any indication of what we’ll expect this year, then asylum seekers, migrants, and minorities will see another shameful year of  hostility and violence. On Saturday, a detective chief  inspector of southern Finland, Markku Tuominen, was quoted as saying that Finns should avoid contact with foreigners and today the police service of Häme welcomed street patrols in the town of Asikkala, according to Hämeen Kaiku

Isn’t it the job of the police service to provide security to everyone? Aren’t they the ones that have to patrol our streets? Why did the police service of Häme give the green light to Asikkalan-Turva, an association, to patrol the streets of the town located 133km north of Helsinki and near the city of Lahti?

The street patrols by Asikkalan-Turva are being carried out in a town where an asylum reception center was already the target of an unsuccessful arson attack in December.

Considering the number of reception centers that have been attacked since September it’s odd that the police of Häme don’t show too much concern for the security of the asylum seekers.

(more…)

Laura Huhtasaaren väkivaltainen ja valheellinen politiikka

by

Kansanedustaja Laura Huhtasaari lausahti vastikään Helsingin Sanomille, että terroristit voivat käyttää hyväkseen ihmisoikeuksia. Niin hölmöltä kuin se kuulostaakin, niin totuushan on se, että Huhtasaari ja hänen vihatoverinsa tekevät juuri näin. He keräävät suosiota ja ääniä vaaleissa kertomalla meille, että valtaan päästyään ja vallassa pysyessään heillä on vakaa aikomus olla hyväksymättä yhtäläistä ihmisarvoa ja heikentää heille epämieluisien ihmisten oloja. He vaahtoavat naisten ja lasten oikeuksien puolesta, ja pyrkivät vähentämään pakolaisnaisten ja lasten saamaa apua sillä varjolla, että ”niillä on eri kulttuuri eikä naisilla ole ihmisarvoa” .

Laura Huhtasaari 4

Rikokset ovat tällaisten kansanedustajien ehtymätön voiman ja inspiraation lähde. Laura Huhtasaaren – niin kuin niin monen rasistipoliitikon – sydäntä lähellä ovat erityisesti seksuaalirikokset. Niillä, silloin kun ne ovat maahanmuuttajan tekemiä, on niin helppo nostattaa omia ja muiden tunteita. Vaikka ne eivät olisi ihan tottakaan.

Huhtasaaren mielenmaisemaa kuvaa erityisen selvästi hänen lokakuinen avauksensa ja siitä käyty keskustelu. Teksti on hirveää, mutta koska kyseessä on hallituspuolueen kansanedustaja, jolla tällainen toiminta on yksi määräävä osa hänen julkista kanssakäymistään kannattajien kanssa, katson tarpeelliseksi esittää siitä roisimpiakin osia. Huhtasaaren sivuilla leviävät raa’at kuvat ja videot jätän sentään pois.

Laura Huhtasaari 1

Avauksessaan 23.10.2015 klo 21:25 Huhtasaari viittaa uutiseen epäillystä 3-vuotiaan lapsen raiskauksesta Tingsrydissä Ruotsissa. Epäiltynä on – luonnollisesti Huhtasaaren tarttuessa tapaukseen – turvapaikanhakija. Maahanmuuttajavastaisten ketkupoliitikkojen tyypilliseen tapaan Huhtasaari ei itse kirjoita avaukseen mielessään olevia kauheuksia, vaan odottaa kannattajien tyydyttävän hänet. Ja hehän tekevät, mitä pyydetään:

Pentti Hotti: Hirtää munistaan.
Raimo Rapo: KYLMÄSTI PITÄISI TAPPAA HITAASTI VÄLITTÖMÄSTI!!!!
Jari Hokkanen: Meilläpäin on paljon soita…..ja koira ei perään hauku

Kello 22:30 Huhtasaarelle kerrotaan ensimmäisen kerran:
”Tekijä on vapautettu, eli se oli siinä.”

Tiedosta huolimatta meno Huhtasaaren sivulla jatkuu:
Marko Huusko: Köytettynä kusiais pesään( isoon sellaseen)……..
Auvinen Kimmo: Munat veks! Irakilaiset tekee sitä laillisesti prkl.saastat!
Jari Lintunen: Sano vaan,70% suomalaisista on samaa mieltä ja koko ajan tulee lisää..
Mauri Peltokangas: En osaa edes kommentoida näitä…. jotain ymmärrykseni yli menevää.. joskus toivoisin tapaavani tällaisen henkilön kahden kesken suljetussa tilassa… kertoisin hänelle sanomatta sanaakaan mitä mieltä olen hänen teoistaan….

Kello 22:50 Teppo Nygren linkkaa sivulle Iltalehden julkaiseman SVT:n uutisen, jossa kerrotaan, että epäilty on vapautettu ja todetaan:
”Syyttäjäviraston Sandra Rohdin mukaan ei ole syytä epäillä, että rikosta olisi tapahtunut.
– Meillä ei ole näyttöä, jonka mukaan väärinkäyttö olisi tapahtunut. Kaikki perustui todistajiin ja mitä joku on nähnyt.”

Lynkkaus ja kuohinta jatkuu, vaikka sitten edes seuraavan ”syyllisen”:                                                                                                                                    Sami Martikainen: Tää pitäisi kastroida ja kuohita tää tyyppi!! Ei ole oikeutta mennä tuhoamaan lapsen elämää!!
Teppo Nygren: Se tyyppi on kyllä vapautettu raiskausepäilyistä, mutta kai se hyvä varmuuden vuoksi kuohia.
Sami Martikainen: Teppo Nygren jo on syyllinen silloin se pitää kuohia…tietenkään jos ei ole mitään tehnyt niin eri asia…ei paljoa naurata asian ympärillä vitsailut…mieti sitä lasta joka on raiskattu ..
Teppo Nygren: Näiden iltapäivälehtien uutisointi menee usein asioiden edelle ja tuokin henkilö on voitu vapauttaa epäilyistä jo ennekuin lehti on julkaissut uutisen, Jotkut uutiset myy Amerikassa keltainen lehdistö tuomitsi yhden näyttelijän raiskauksesta, vaikka poliisi oli todennut henkilön syyttömäksi ja kukaan filmiyhtiö ei palkannut enää sitä näyttelijää. Kyllä oikealle syylliselle minäkin ehdottaisin nippusidettä ja kuljettamista jonnekkin syrjäseudulle.
Mika A Raappana: pahasti sairas !
Teppo Nygren: Yhteiskunta on sairas. Tyyppi jota epäiltiin raiskauksesta on vapauttu epäilyistä.
Janne Räty: Kemiallinen kastraatio, ja lukkojen taakse loppuiäksi!
Kari Lilja: Minä voin sanoa, Karin sanomiset ei ylitä uutiskynnystä winkhymiö Kynsi irti kuun ensimmäisenä = 20 kk. Ei hoitoa. Kynnet kun loppuu, siirrytään hampaisiin jne. Tuon julmempaa tekoa ei ole. Tieto myös leviäisi. Näyttävät oikeudenkäynnit.
Ville Tuominen: Otsikon luku riitti…….. piip piip piiip piiip…….
Jukka Kyrö: niitä on ollu Ruotsia jo 1400 tänävuonna…

Seuraavana päivänä, 24.10.2015, herkutellaan edelleen väkivallalla:
Antero Turunen: minun tuomioni olisi aivan yksisellitteinen,,,Munat pois ja linnaan..
Petteri Perkkiö: Tylysällä sahalla 5mm paloiksi..uloke kerrallaan..
Annikki Paloniemi: Minä sanon suoraan kuula kalloon
Harri Junnonen: Huh huh, mihikä tämä maailma on menossa? Saunan taakse ja!!
Aki Parkkari: Burana 9mm
Ilari Kari: Kyseessä oli siis turvapaikanhakija vastaanottokeskuksessa. Poliisi päästi miehen vapaaksi, ilmeisesti ei löytynyt näyttöä tai sitten vaan hiljentääkseen median.

Kello 9:35 ilmestyy sivulle ainoa järjen ääni:
Raato Laaksonen: Tai sitten jälleen kerran säälittävää, valheellisten uutisten keksimistä ja levittämistä omia tarpeita silmällä pitäen. Ja kuten yllä olevista viesteistä ja avauksesta näkyy, täydestä menee. Jokusiin. Siellä Ruotsissa hääri ihan oikeasti muuan miekkamies, mutta roolit taisivat olla nurinpäin suurta pahennusta herättääkseen.

Laura Huhtasaari vastaa oitis:
Syyllinen sitten kun todetaan syylliseksi. Jos luit tarkasti, niin kirjoitin ”tällaisille tekijöille”, eli tekijöille, jotka ovat tehneet. Olen siis edelleen samaa mieltä. Muutama asia saa minun vereni kiehumaan, lapsiin kohdistuva väkivalta, naisten alistaminen ja naisiin kohdistuva väkivalta. Kattelin eilen Armania telkusta, oli Sudanissa. Hyvä kun nukkumaan pysty, miksi maailma on niin kova paikka naisille ja tyttölapsille?

Viimeistään tässä vaiheessa olisi luullut, että Huhtasaari poistaa kyseenalaisen avauksensa ja etenkin väkivaltaiset kommentit. Mutta niinhän hän ei toimi, koska hänen poliittinen uransa saa ravintonsa juuri tällaisista kommenteista. Hän yrittää myös päästä pälkähästä linkkaamalla uutiseen Suomessa tapahtuneesta lasten houkuttelusta seksiin saatteella:
”Raato, minäkö olen se paha, koska näitä jaan ja pidän näistä meteliä? Mitkä ne minun pahat tarkoitusperäni tässä sinusta ovat?”

Huhtasaari, lainsäätäjämme, ajattelee pahan saavan palkkansa ja rikosten vähenevän siten, että rikolliset rekisteröidään etnisyyden mukaan. Hänellä on myös selvästi sellainen ajatus, että erilaisten ”maahanmuuttojen” rikosvaikutukset ovat ennalta määriteltävissä ja ”rikosten lisääminen” vältettävissä ”rajoittamalla tänne pääsyä”.

Laura Huhtasaari: No oikeastihan tässä on se, että Raadolla on erilainen lähestyminen asiaan kuin minulla. Hänen ei jaa ajatusta esim. pedofiilien nettirekisteristä tai siitä, että julkisuus olisi oiva osa rangaistusta. Hän ei ihan myöskään halua, että rikolliset tilastoidaan esim. alkuperän mukaan. Minä taas ajan molempia. En pahuuttani, mitä Raato kyllä sen luulee olevan. Vaan siksi, että haluan pahan saavan palkkansa. Uskon sillä olevan myös pelotevaikutus ja se toimisi ennaltaehkäisynä. Lisäksi haluan vaikuttaa siihen esim. maahanmuuton osalta, että emme lisää rikollisuutta Suomessa, eli kun tiedämme millaiset vaikutukset on milläkin maahanmuutolla, voimme vaikuttaa esim. rajoittamalla tänne pääsyä. Automaattikarkotus ulkomaalaisille ja kantiksille kunnon tuomio. Korjaa toki Raato, jos olen tulkinnut väärin.

Raato Laaksonen: Ensinnäkin, minä vastasin aloittamaasi ketjuun ja linkkaamaasi juttuun, joka on todettu uutisankaksi. ”Todistajien” motiiveja sopii arvailla..
Sitten vähän yksilöiden analyysiasi. Kyllä, olen julkinenhäväistyskriittinen. Meillä oikeuslaitos jakaa ja toimeenpanee tuomiot. Se riittää. Mitään julkisia häpeäpaaluja ja pahiksien naamakirjaa en suosi. Te siellä taas säädätte lait ja niiden rangaistusasteikon.
Maahanmuuton saaminen hallintaan on varmaan kaikkien intresseissä, myös minun. Senkin oikeisiin mittasuhteisiin saattaminen on teidän hallituksenne tehtävä. Automaattikarkotuksessakin olen vähän toisilla linjoilla. Mikäli vakavan rikoksen tekijä tulee rakastamastasi muslimivaltiosta, hänen karkotuksensa sinne tuskin on mikään rangaistus. Taitaisi saada sankarin vastaanoton. Muuten olet tulkinnut ihan oikein.
PS. Anna nyt vastineeksi edes yhden lauseen tuomio tälle muukalaisvihamieliselle, natsihenkiselle miekkamiehelle.

Laaksosen taivuttelu ei johda mihinkään. Huhtasaaren kiihottamat mielet jatkavat purkautumistaan:
Ari Teperi: Siksi poliisin tiedoittaminen sensuroitiinkin, koska tapauksia alkoi tulla niin paljon että pelättiin kansan nousevan joukolla tätä älyttömyyttä vastaan.
Rainer Saunamäki: Just kulttuurii.
Päivi Mäkelä: Ja minäpäs kerron taas suoraan tapani mukaan! NISKALAUKAUS!!!
Sami Ilvonen: Eikös giljotiinit keksitty tuollaisia varten?
Peter Andreas Pyykkönen: lynkata
Heikki Pihlajamäki: Tiiliskivet vähintään ja sitten……….
Tommi Viljakainen: Kiinassa tekivät raiskaajalle oikein tässä vähän aikaa sitten. Ehdottaisin samaa menettelyä tuolle.
Juha Ikonen: Tehdä palvelusopimus vaikka Turkin kanssa että perustaisivat vankileirin jonne kaikki saastat vietäis tuomiota kärsii ja tatuointi naamaan että muut osaisi varoa tulevaisuudessa.
Jyrki Könönen: Mielestäni tuollaiseen syyllistyneet pitäisi laittaa vankilaan vaikkapa vain muutamaksi vuodeksi, ihan normaaliin porukkaan ilman erikoiskohtelua. Oletan että asia korjaantuu vankeusaikana kuin itsestään.
Kimmo Kemppainen: Koppihoito Siperiassa olisi parasta lääkettä näille.
Keijo Malkki: Kikkeli toimintakyvyttömäksi.
Kari Leppänen: Lapsen rakastaminen on ihmisoikeus, kuten homouskin ym. Normaali ihminen ei näin toimi!

Vielä 25.10. kansanedustaja saa mannaa kannattajiltaan:

Janne Hirvinen: kulkuset valtiolle ei muu auta
Liisa Vepsäläine:n Vapautus tuli, koska pieni lapsi ei osaa kertoa, mitä väärää hänelle tehtiin???
Kristiina Kikka Heinonen: Laura, parasta sinut tunteville on se, että me TIEDÄMME mitä sanoisit

Näin tuli sitten syytön turvapaikanhakija ja samalla moni hänen kanssakärsijöistään yhteistuumin moneen kertaan hirtettyä, kuohittua ja raiskattua. Kommentoijia oli paljon, jakajia ja lukijoita tietysti monin verroin. Ja taas levisi ”isämmaallinen” tarina: ”Maahanmuuttaja on paha, maahanmuuttaja tulee ja raiskaa lapsesi”.

Tulivatko perussuomalaiset tällaisella politiikalla vuoden mittaan onnellisemmiksi? Paraniko maan talous, ilmapiiri ja turvallisuus?

Kansalaisten kiihotettuja pelkoja ei pidä ymmärtää

by

Maria Lohela
Suomen Kuvalehden haastattelussa kysytään eduskunnan puhemieheltä, mitä poliitikkojen ja erityisesti hallituksen tulisi tehdä tässä tilanteessa, kun vastaanottokeskuksiin tehdään iskuja, hän vastaa: ”Kansalaisten huolia ei saa väheksyä. Maahanmuutosta saa olla jotain mieltä. Turvapaikanhakijoiden osalta kaikki ei ole mukavaa ja auvoista. Tilanteella on muitakin seurauksia kuin satojen miljoonien eurojen kustannukset.”

Kun lukuisat polttopulloiskut, pahoinpitelyt ja rakettien ampumiset ihmisten olohuoneisiin yritetään kuitata sillä, että kansalaisten pelkoja pitää ymmärtää, tiedämme oitis, että sanojalla eivät ole puhtaat jauhot pussissa. Hän joko yrittää piilotella omaa ja puolueensa osuutta kiihotustyössä, kuten tässä tapauksessa, tai yrittää itseltäänkin hämärtää sen tosiasian, että pitää väkivallantekoja jollain lailla oikeutettuina.

Eduskunnan puhemiehen ei pitäisi myöskään vähätellä kansalaisten ymmärrystä siitä, etteikö turvapaikanhakijoihin liittyisi jotain muutakin, kuin ”mukavaa ja auvoa”. Herää itse asiassa kysymys, ymmärtääkö puhemies, kuinka paljon tuskaa, surua ja kärsimystä liittyy pelkästään siihen, että joutuu lähtemään pakoon omasta kodistaan, saatikka sitten siihen, että yrittää aloittaa ihmisarvoisen elämän eduskunnan puhemiehen kotimaassa.
Maria Lohela

Pyrkiessään ensimmäistä kertaa eduskuntaan v. 2011 Maria Lohela allekirjoitti halla-aholaisen rasistisen manifestin, jossa todettiin mm.: ”Manifestin allekirjoittajat ovat sitä mieltä, että kielteisiin ilmiöihin kuten turvapaikkaturismiin ja suomalaisten sinisilmäisyyden röyhkeään hyväksikäyttöön tuleekin suhtautua nuivasti.”

Nyt Lohela vastaa tekopyhästi Suomen Kuvalehden haastattelussa: ”Toivon kokonaisvaltaisia ehdotuksia sen sijaan, että ensimmäisessä lauseessa vastapuoli leimataan joko sinisilmäiseksi tai rasistiksi.”

 

Meillä on ollut väestöllä lähes kattava luku- ja kirjoitustaito jo yli sata vuotta ja oppivelvollisuus melkein yhtä kauan. Emme voi enää perustella kansan ja sen edustajien sivistymättömyyttä sillä, että osa on vielä puussa tai kaikki eivät ole savupirttien pimennossa oppineet lukemaan saatikka ymmärtämään.

Suomalaiset kylien miehet ja naiset eivät sitä paitsi ole pelolla ja tappohalulla koskaan suhtautuneet uusiin ihmisiin, vaan pikemminkin ystävällisellä uteliaisuudella. Tämä nyt esiin pyrkivä viha johtuu siitä, että etenkin Maria Lohelan viiteryhmä, ns. ”nuivan vaalimanifestin” allekirjoittaneet, järjestäytyneet vihanlietsojat, ovat jo kymmenen vuotta harjoittaneet toimintaansa ja tukevat nyt tykkäyksillään, linkityksillään ja kirjoituksillaan samalta aatepohjalta syntyneitä vihasivustoja, joilla on jo kymmeniä tuhansia kannattajia.

Kun nyt sanotaan, että pitäisi ymmärtää sitä, että pakolaista pelätään, se on Maria Lohelan tapauksessakin vain oman rasistisen politiikan ylläpitämistä ja muistuttamista niistä kirjoituksista ja yhteydestä rasistijoukkioon, joiden avulla hän vuonna 2011 nousi eduskuntaan. Nyt – niin häpeällistä kuin se onkin – tuo henkilö pitää hallussaan eduskunnan korkeinta tehtävää, puhemiehen virkaa. Se on suuri loukkaus monia Suomen sellaisia naisia ja miehiä kohtaan, jotka toivovat yhteiskuntarauhaa eivätkä voi hyväksyä rasistista vihaa ja kiihottamista kansanryhmää vastaan.

Eduskunnan puhemiehen tulisi pysyttäytyä politiikan ulkopuolella. Lohela ei siihen tunnu pystyvän, hänen julkisissa puheissaan on syksyllä ollut tällaisiakin lausahduksia:

”Maailma ympärillämme on muuttunut, eikä Suomi ole pysynyt muutoksessa mukana. Ei ole olemassa sellaista asiaa kuin taikaseinä, josta saa rahaa kaikkiin mahdollisiin mielitekoihin. Resurssit ovat rajalliset Suomessa aivan kuten ne ovat ihan kaikkialla muuallakin. Silloin on tehtävä valintoja ja politiikan suunnan muutoksia. Näin toimivat kaikki itsenäiseen päätöksentekoon oikeutetut kansallisvaltiot.”

Taikaseinä on sana, jota rasistit käyttävät pyrkiessään antamaan sellaisen mielikuvan, että pakolaisilla ei maassamme ole mitään tarkoitusta kotoutua ja ryhtyä töihin, vaan halu viettää lokoisaa elämää muiden kustannuksella.

Pahasti näyttää siltä, että sellainen halu on perussuomalaisilla poliitikoilla. Annetaan muiden hoitaa homma, korjata perussuomalaisen kiihotuksen jäljet, paikata vihan ja väkivallan aiheuttamat haavat ja pistää maan talous kuntoon.

Olen kuitenkin sitä mieltä, että kansalaisten perusteltua pelkoa pitääkin ymmärtää. Esimerkiksi pelkoa siitä, että yhteisistä varoista luovutetaan nyt aivan liikaa rahaa sellaisille ihmisille, joiden perimmäisenä tarkoituksena on ihmisryhmien syrjintä, rotuvihan lisääminen, riidan nostattaminen ja omilla vihantunteilla elostelu. Tuota ”taikaseinää” pitävät yllä muut hallituspuolueet ja eduskunta. Tuollainen tuhlaus on pahinta mahdollista tuhlaamista ja se repii rikki kansakunnan perustaa.

Tällaisista kansalaisten peloista voidaan päästä vain siten, että asialliset poliittiset toimijat kieltäytyvät yhteistyöstä rasististen toimijoiden kanssa, eivätkä edistä rasistisen, uusfasistisen liikkeen etenemistä. Kaikkien on myös tiukasti tartuttava rasistiseen puheeseen ja kansanryhmää vastaan kiihottamiseen – myös omassa puolueessaan.

Asiat eivät koskaan ole niin huonosti, että taloudenhoidon varjolla voisi sallia ihmisten eriarvoisen kohtelun ja joidenkin ihmisryhmien demonisoimisen.

Twitter: White Finnish rapist or arsonist = lone wolf, drunk

by

In Finland, we have had a number of arson attacks against asylum reception centers. We even have one substitute MP of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party who wrote that “god had answered his prayers” when a building, which was supposed to house asylum seekers, was razed to the ground earlier this month. 

Does Finland play down crimes carried by their nationals but magnifies those committed by asylum seekers, migrants, and minorities?

Green League chairman Ville Niinistö said during the weekend that the police doesn’t take attacks against reception centers seriously enough. If such attacks were carried out against senior homes or day care centers the reaction of the police service would be different, according to him.

Why don’t the police and politicians brand arsonists who attack asylum reception centers as terrorists? I wouldn’t even want to think what our reaction would be if an asylum seeker carried out similar acts. Why does the prime minister call an emergency crisis meeting because of a suspected rape case when there are thousands of shameful rape cases that go unreported and are committed daily by suspected white Finns?

The post on Samuel Turtianen’s Facebook wall offers us more hypocracy. The posting was published on PS MEP Jussi Halla-aho’s, MPs Olli Immonen’s, Teuvo Hakkarainen,’s and Laura Huhtasaari’s wall, all of whom are well-known Islamophobes.

The PS is a government party that shares power with the Center Party and National Coalition Party.

Turtiainen appears to be a supporter of the PS.

He writes:

“Dear Citizens, those of you who have taken to some extent personal risks in acting and eliminating already functioniong and planned asylum reception centers. Your work is and has been in many respects important to our independence and defending our security. The hands of the police are politically tied, which means that the people have to act on their own. These acts have thanks to the media became widely known to all of us and we know what’s the question. Is the time right to expand our actions to the enemy’s main centers, where this [asylum reception center policy] is managed. In the shared article it become clear that our worst enemy [Finnish Red Cross] cheers [a person down] when a cirtizen expersses her personal fears.”

The “article,” or opinion piece by Tiina Palovuori, a PS member, was about her recent visit to an asylum reception center in Tampere. She asked if she had to take precautions because she feared being raped.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-28 kello 13.18.16

 

When we label Others terrorists and criminals we permit scapegoating to live anther day and justify our exclusiveness, entitlement or white Finnish privilege. It makes us feel like saints.

The mixed response of the police, politicians, and the general public in the face of ever-growing xenophobia in this country reveals the extent of our own moral problem.

 

Näyttökuva 2015-12-28 kello 11.35.07

In the Finnish language, it would read something like the following below:

Näyttökuva 2015-12-28 kello 11.32.35

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.

Writer Nura Farah is one of the bright hopes of multicultural Finland

by

Nura Farah is Finland’s first published writer with Somali roots. She moved to Finland as a refugee in the early 1990s when she was 13 years old and when one of her countries became absorbed in a costly and painful civil war that continues to date.

Her first book, Aavikon tyttäret (Daughters of the desert), published by Otava last year, gives a glimpse of the lives of women in Somalia during that country’s struggle for independence in 1940-60.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-26 kello 18.18.24
Nura Farah. Kuva: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava.

Apart from being the first “Somali” writer to publish in the Finnish language, her latest milestone as a writer was winning in December the 2015 Suomi-palkkinnon award, which is given by the ministry of education to aspiring and established artists and writers.

This year’s prize was 24,700 euros.

“I’m not the only one who’s got the award there were others [like writer and film director Hassan Blasim and artist Abdel Abidin],” said Farah with a hint of humility. “This year’s [Suomi-palkinnon] awards reflect support by the ministry of education for multiculturalism.”

Farah said that there are many challenges as Finnish society becomes ever-culturally diverse. She believes that multiculturalism can work, but it’s important that migrants and minorities don’t isolate themselves from the rest of society.

“We live in difficult times these days,” she continued. “It’s even scary and I sometimes feel that we’ve returned back to the 1990s [when racism was more public].”

According to Farah, one of the problems that Finland should acknowledge today is that social exclusion is a problem we must challenge. She said that even if you were born in this country to non-Finnish parents you’re still not accepted as an equal member of society never mind as a “real” Finn.

(more…)

Kati van der Hoeven-Lepistö: Peace and harmony

by

Kati van der Hoeven-Lepistö

“Isn’t this world magnificent and so incredibly beautiful?” What a wonderful and perfectly balanced planet that can maintain an unimaginable variety of all kinds and sorts of lives. Just think about this, all this has been made with no human intelligence. In fact, the planet gives life a chance to exist.

Following the path of evolution humans have become so intelligent (so arrogant) that, he thinks that he can control the planet itself. Humans seem to have forgotten that they were not who created this world, but that it is this the world that allowed them (us) to exist.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-25 kello 20.03.04
Lue kirjoitus Suomen kielellä tästä

Scientist want to learn more about life, the planet and the cosmos how it all works from a technical point of view. This is all very interesting, good to know. Knowledge and understanding are valuable things. With all this knowledge, we humans still seem to be unable to live our lives as it is intended.

(more…)

Ruskeat Tytöt: Minä olen unelma

by

Koko Hubara

Kirjoitan tätä suoraan blogipostauskenttään, sydän murskana ja silmien takana itku, joka ei enää edes tule ulos.

Minä haluan tietää, miksi minä olen painajainen. Mikä se painajainen on.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-24 kello 14.59.38

Onko se painajainen se, että minun vanhempani ovat saaneet aikanaan kokea niin syvän rakkauden toisiaan kohtaan, että he halusivat mennä naimisiin ja perustaa perheen. Onko se painajainen se, että he halusivat muuttaa Suomeen, koska täällä meidän perheellämme on paremmat ja turvallisemmat oltavat. Onko se painajainen se, että minä synnyin raskausviikolla 32 ja jäin henkiin, koska täällä on niin hyvä terveydenhuolto. Onko se painajainen se, että meillä oli kotona yksi jumala, mutta joulu ja hanukka, kaksi pääsiäistä, vai se, että me emme sekoittaneet maitoa ja lihaa samalla aterialla. Onko se painajainen se, että se koti oli ihan tavallinen omistusomakotitalo ihan tavallisessa lähiössä.

Vai onko se painajainen se, että tänään minä heräsin elossa ja lähdin lapsen kanssa pyöräretkelle Isoon Vasikkasaareen. Söin lihapullia ja muusia, join lasin rosé-viiniä, lojuin hiekkarannalla, puhuin ystävän kanssa pojista. Onko se painajainen se, että ihoni on tummempi kuin ystäväni, lapseni on tummempi kuin ystäväni lapsi. Onko se se, että paluumatkalla pysähdyin Hesarin Alepaan ja ostin banaaneja, maitoa, Angry Birds -jukurttia ja neilikkakimpun. Vai se, että katselin youtubesta junavideoita, luin (taas) iltasaduksi Kuka lohduttaisi Nyytiä, lauloin ensin Tuiki, tuiki tähtösen, sitten Numi, numi yaldatin.

Ja nyt kirjoitan tätä. Tämäkö on se painajainen.

(more…)

Is Finland swapping Nordic values like social equality for social inequality?

by

Social Democratic Party (SDP) MEP Liisa Jaakonsaari gives a good interview to Helsingin Sanomat about the government’s 80-point plan to tighten immigration policy that not only targets asylum seekers but impacts negatively the whole migrant and minority community of Finland. 

According to Jaakonsaari, 70 of the 80 points in the government’s plan has the stamp of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. If this is the case, no wonder Finland is having difficulty in focusing on more pressing matters like jump-starting economic growth and creating jobs.

Like the SDP MEP correctly pointed out, the big picture of the new policy is clear: Asylum seekers shouldn’t come to Finland because they’re not welcome.

Imagine, we already have an underclass of people in this country that are so disenfranchised that Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government can even propose, with a poker face, shelving indefinitely their basic civil and human rights. This is happening in a country that takes seriously human rights and brags about social equality.

Migrant Tales wrote recently:

The government now hopes with the 80-point plan to not only make life difficult for asylum seekers, and in turn for all migrants and minorities in this country, but introduce policy changes that are unconstitutional. PS Social Welfare Minister Hanna Mäntylä has been eager to lower subsidies to asylum seekers that get a residence permit.

Asylum-seekers, migrants, and minorities aren’t the only one’s feeling the brunt of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government, which is comprised by the PS, Center Party and National Coalition Party. Finns who are pensioners, unemployed and rely on social welfare are the target of massive social welfare cuts that will make their lives harder.

Jaakonsaari said that giving a temporary residence permit to those that get asylum in Finland is a good example of PS anti-immigration ideology. Even if it wasn’t pointed out in the Helsingin Sanomat interview, the idea to offer temporary residence permits comes from Norway, where the anti-immigration populist Progress Party (FrP) shares power with Conservative Party (Høyre). 

The Finnish media hasn’t for some reason connect the dots, but nationalist-populist parties in the Nordic region are following each other’s anti-immigration rhetoric and policies on how to tighten and make life as hard as possible for asylum seekers and their respective migrant communities.

What’s the solution? There is none except that as long as the PS are in government, the anti-immigration climate in Finland will not improve but get worse. Hostility against migrants and cultural diversity is what makes the PS tick politically.

Don’t expect anything to improve in the short-run either.

Massive spending cuts by the government and tighter immigration policy will encourage migrants and refugees to compete and fight against each other and against poor Finns for ever-meager resources. But mark my words: The more space that is given to the PS politically the more hostility there will be against asylum seekers, migrants and our ever-culturally diverse society.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-23 kello 9.02.19
Listen to full interview here.

Even if SDP leader Antti Rinne is quoted as saying that he backs and considers government plans to tighten immigration policy “a very good idea,” such a stance is a big mistake. We saw this type of mimicking of the PS in 2011 with poor consequences for the Social Democrats.

(more…)

Migrants’ Rights Network: 2015 – The year when immigration became an indissolubly European issue

by

Don Flynn*

Don_web_0

 

 

 

Halfway through December seems like a good time to sketch out some ideas on what 2015 might come to mean in a history of immigration which has yet to be written.

My provisional take is that it will come to be seen as the year in which the movement of people into and out of the country became finally and indissolubly Europeanised.  There are circumstances in which we could easily imagine this to be a good thing, with progressive, forward-thinking governments working together to see how the movement of people is going to play its role in promoting sustainable growth and the welfare of populations, while at the same time cementing human rights and fairness right the way across the system.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-21 kello 16.28.39

Sadly this isn’t the way in which immigration has been considered by governments for a long time. The resulting dysfunction has meant that Europe has become associated in the minds of many with turmoil and threat.  The image of desperate refugees landing on the Greek islands; the bodies of children washed up on holiday beaches; people pushed back by thuggish police action on the borders of Hungary; or the migrants living in the squalor of the ‘jungle’ camps in Calais will probably be the abiding memories of the past year for many.

Failure to anticipate the inevitable chaos

The truth is that these chaotic scenes have arisen for reasons which have less to do with the sheer press of numbers than with the utter failure of the European authorities to anticipate the inevitable flow of people away from the war zones which now stretch in great conjoined arcs across the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, and into North Africa.

(more…)

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Spot-On Journalism

by

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism has been updated throughout the year. Too many stories that appear in the Finnish media exemplify poor and sloppy journalism, especially when they cover racism and our ever-growing culturally diverse society. The editorial published below by Lahti-based Etelä-Suomen Sanomat is a rare example of spot-on journalism in Finland. 

To see examples of poor and shoddy journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link.

September 18

 Häpeäksi Lahdelle – (Etelä-Suomen Sanomat)

What’s so good about this editorial?  Kalle Aaltonen is a Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party Lahti city councilman who likes to spread anti-immigration rhetoric to get attention. Each insult that he throws appears to boomerang back to him with a provocation. On Wednesday, he appeared to accept the latest challenge. He didn’t find a new provocation that challenged him but probably the last nail on his political coffin. He wrote on his Facebook page that the Red Cross could go “f**k itself as well as all of you other wankers who have made it possible/permitted Finns’ kindness and taxes to be misused.” The PS will decide Wednesday whether to sack Aaltonen from the party. In the face of these irresponsible statements by a city councilman, Etelä-Suomen Sanomat took leadership and denounced Aaltonen’s latest rant. Too often we’ve seen the opposite in Finland when the national media incorrectly believes that by not noticing racism and politicians like Aaltonen racism will go away.

Apart from telling the Lahti city councilman that what he said was unbecoming of a politician and defending the important role that the Red Cross plays in managing the record number of asylum seekers in Finland, the last paragraph of the editorial is spot on:

“Perussuomalaiset party secretary Riitta Slunga-Poutsalo has described Aaltonen’s behavior as idiotic.  There’s not much we can add to that. Aaltonen’s coarse language is not only a shame to himself and to the Perussuomalaiset [party] but to the whole city council and through it to the city of Lahti. If Aaltonen is incapable of making the right decision others will have to do it on his behalf.”

Näyttökuva 2015-12-20 kello 10.27.13

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.

The “Denmarkization” of Finnish immigration policy

by

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) are eager to pass legislation that will not only hurt asylum seekers but all migrants and minorities that live in Finland. After breaking almost all of their campaign promises and after their poll rating have plummeted to single-digit percentages, the PS only have one trump card left in their political bag of tricks: anti-immigration rhetoric and policy.

The PS won’t openly admit except occasionally that they have a semi-secret ideological love affair with the Islamophobic Danish People’s Party (DPP).

Just to give you a small glimpse of what the DPP stands for, the poster below published by Politiken, one of the country’s biggest dailies, offers an eyeful.

Näyttökuva 2015-6-19 kello 15.06.34

Like the rise of the PS, the only issue that has kept the DPP in politics since early 2000 is Islamophobia and anti-immigration rhetoric. They never form part of the government but instead support minority governments, like now.

(more…)

PS MP comes to Huhtasaari’s rescue but doesn’t have a faint idea about human rights

by

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Leena Meri came to the rescue of MP Laura Huuhtasaari, who claimed that human rights don’t apply to everyone. What Meri argues about the UN Declaration of Human Rights is equally worrying considering that she was a policewoman. 

Both Meri and Huhtasaari are in the same league when it comes to Islamophobia. Both are building their political careers on hostility towards Muslims. It is naive to think that the hostility they spew about Muslims doesn’t affect all migrants and minorities in this country.

What does this anti-immigration former policewoman PS MP write in the party’s online publication to support her colleague Huhtasaari?

Human rights weren’t originally founded to give rights to practice terrorism but on the contrary. In other words grant normal people the right to live in freedom without being under a dictatorship or terrorism. If our laws in any way are hindering our fight against terrorism such laws should be changed quickly instead of debating such matters.

Meri appears not to have read, like Huhtasaari, the UN Declaration of Human Rights carefully. She should especially take a look at articles 10 and 11.

ARTICLE 10.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

ARTICLE 11.

Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-18 kello 9.15.28
Read full opinion piece here.

(more…)

A Finnish lawmaker who states that human rights don’t apply to everyone

by

With a populist anti-immigration party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* in government, it’s clear that issues like human rights and the right to asylum would be questioned by such a bigoted party. Laura Huhtasaari, right, the PS MP with the kindergarten teacher smile,  has stuck her foot in her mouth again. 

This time, it isn’t for denying that evolution exists but for suggesting that human rights don’t apply to everyone.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-18 kello 0.20.16
PS MP Huhtasaari tweets: “Human Rights have been founded to protect civilians, not terrorists, war criminals or criminals.”

If the PS MP would have read carefully the UN Declaration of Human Rights she’d know that human rights apply to everyone, even suspected terrorists, suspected war criminals and suspected criminals.

(more…)

Why do the police identify Others as “person with migrant background” even if this is confusing, even illegal?

by

The tabloid story below picked up by Koko Hubara on her Facebook wall is an excellent example of how the define ethnicity and race. The police service is one of the most eager institutions in this country when it comes to labeling who are “real” Finns and those who are not.  

By law, a person is considered a Finn if he or she is a Finnish citizen. Even so, the police don’t care if you have Finnish citizenship or even if you were born in this country.

The Ilta-Sanomat story below is a prime example. It states that that “people with a migrant background” tried to rape a teenage girl in the southwestern Finnish city of Pori.

What does “people with migrant background mean?” Is it code for people who aren’t from the EU? But wait a minute! Europe is culturally and ethnically a very diverse place, Finland as well. Why then is the police defining on its own accord so-called “ethnic” Finns, or kantasuomalaisetand non-white Finns, or “people with a migrant background?”

A classic example of the way the police arbitrarily puts Finns into different ethnic categories was the Tapanila rape case in March.

Migrant Tales spoke in spring with the policeman, Jyri Hiltunen, who is in charge of the Tapanila rape case. He confirmed that some of the suspects are Finnish citizens.

“I don’t know exactly if all of them are citizens or not because this isn’t an essential piece of information in the case,” he said. “But some are [Finnish citizens].”

Not an essential piece of information? I disagree, considering some of these then suspects were born and raised in Finland as well.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-16 kello 9.09.22
Read original Ilta-Sanomat story here.

A person’s ethnicity and national background are defined the following manner: by nationality, place of birth and mother tongue.

(more…)

What ever happened to the PS politician who said god had answered his prayers after an asylum reception center was a target of arson?

by

Remember Perussuomalaiset (PS)* substitute MP Juha Maenpää who said god had answered his prayers after a reception center that was going to house asylum seekers was razed to the ground on December 1? It appears that all he got for writing such a comment was a lot of publicity and a soft slap on the hand. 

Jaakko Leiniö, chairman of the Ilmajoen Perussuomalaiset chapter, told Migrant Tales over the phone that what Maenpää wrote was “his own ideas” and that sacking him isn’t possible because it “would be against the associations act.”

Leiniö added that Maenpää had apologized for what he wrote. “According to him, what he wrote was [widely] misunderstood,” the Ilmajoen Perussuomalaiset chapter chairman added.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-2 kello 0.08.54
PS substitute MP Maenpää wrote on his Facebook page on December 1:“Great. There is a god. My prayers have been answered” after a building that was going to house asylum seekers was burned to the ground. He has apologized for what he wrote but hasn’t taken down the controversial posting on Facebook.

If we look at Maenpää’s Facebook page there is nothing to suggest that he feels any remorse or shame for what he wrote.  A member of the far-right white Finnish supremacist Suomen Sisu association, Maenpää continues to spread his usual dose of xenophobia on his Facebook wall.

(more…)

UPDATED: How long will reception centers and asylum seekers be under attack in Finland?

by

Migrant Tales insight: Remember 2015? It was the year when over 30,000 asylum seekers, mainly from Iraq and Afghanistan, came to Finland. Do you remember the reaction of some Finns who attacked fourteen asylum reception centers? Why weren’t these acts of violence classified as domestic terrorism? 

This disgraceful story is dedicated to Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Ano Turtiainen, who is in the news for all the wrong reasons and, who, was convicted in 2018 of inciting violence against the Finnish Red Cross, which manages many asylum reception centers. The conviction has its roots in 2015 Facebook post that was liked by PS MEP Laura Huhtasaari.

_________________________________________________________________

Migrant Tales wrote in 2015:

The fact that fourteen asylum reception centers have been attacked in Finland since mid-September is scandalous. According to the police service of Kangasala, an asylum seeker was beaten by two or three men Saturday evening near the Kaivanto reception center, reports YLE News

And the news doesn’t stop here: Neo-Nazi vigilante patrols, one Perussuomalaiset (PS)* substitute MP from Kankaanpää, Juha Maenpää, stated in December that god had answered his prayers after a reception center that was supposed to house asylum seekers was razed to the ground. If an asylum seeker commits a crime there is a social media lynch mob ready 24/7.

If it is a Finn that rapes a woman the public, politicians and the media don’t appear too interested.

Double-standards and xenophobia are rife in Finland today.

In the ever-worsening anti-immigration atmosphere, some politicians and the government are even showing some understanding to the hostility against asylum seekers, which has spread and affected all migrants and minorities living in this country. Interior Minister Petteri Orpo blamed asylum seekers on YLE for these attacks by stating that is would calm matters down by tightening immigration policy even more.

You may be asking why the National Coalition Party and Center Party aren’t even raising a finger against the PS’ obsession against immigrants and asylum seekers. These two parties need the support of the PS to streamline the welfare state. In return, the PS can tighten immigration policy and thereby appease their racist voters.

Like in all the attacks against the reception centers this fall and early winter, only one suspect was caught in Kouvola (24.9.2015), a middle-aged man was charged and given a one-year prison sentence.

How big will this disgraceful list grow below?

Attacks against asylum reception centers in Finland

December

Turku (25.12.2015): Unsuccessful arson attack.

Asikkala (12.12.2015):  Unsuccessful arson attack.

Tampere (10.12.2015): Possible arson attack still under investigation.

Pori (6.12.2015): Windows of the reception center were broken.

Rauma (4.12.2015): Successful arson attack of a building that was supposed to house asylum seekers.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-13 kello 23.36.45
A building that was supposed to house asylum seekers in the western Finnish city of Rauma. Source: Helsingin Sanomat.

(more…)

A Finnish government that bolsters anti-immigration populism and nationalism

by

It’s sad to watch how the present government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä is not only destroying our welfare state but bringing out the worst form of anti-immigration fear and political cowardice. When asked on YLE’s Ykkösaamu talk show about the attacks against asylum reception centers, the only thing Interior Minister Petteri Orpo had to say was that he was “saddened” by such “illegal” attacks and that the 80-point plan to tighten immigration policy would help calm matters down.

Thank you very much Minister Orpo but being “saddened” by what is happening is “sadly” not enough. What you are doing, as Helsinki city councilwoman Veronika Honkasalo correctly stated in a Facebook post, is blaming the victims, the asylum seekers, for the attacks and hostility against them.

The xenophobia against asylum seekers is a cancer that spreads rapidly in our society and impacts the whole migrant and minority community of Finland.

What’s going on?

Orpo, who is a member of the National Coalition Party, is worried together with the Center Party about the nosedive in support in the polls of their third partner, the Perussuomalaiset (PS).* By getting tough on immigration policy and turning a semi-blind eye on the security situation of asylum seekers and that of all migrants living in Finland, the government hopes to bolster the PS in the polls.

If the PS left government it would most likely mean new elections. Would the next prime minister of Finland by from the Center Party or a Social Democrat?

In a letter to the editor of Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest daily, Professor Martti Koskenniemi wrote that the government “has bowed” to social media pressure:

The government has drafted a straightforward policy [80-point immigration tightening program] to bolster support of the Perussuomalaiset [in the polls].

Näyttökuva 2015-12-13 kello 21.17.38

Considering the overdose of bigotry we’ve seen in recent years in Finland, and which people like Orpo have not had a taste of because he’s not a migrant or asylum seeker, it’s clear that not too many Finnish politicians are worried about the hostile atmosphere against migrants and ever-rising tide of racism.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-13 kello 13.36.08
See full interview here.

(more…)

Neo-Nazi group now claims to carry out street patrols in as many as eleven Finnish cities

by

Neo-Nazi groups like Suomen Vastarintaliike (SVL) and the Solidiers of Odin are carrying out street patrols in a number of Finnish cities, reports Pori-based daily Satakunnan Kansa. Migrant Tales reported Saturday that SVL started street patrols in Pori, which have now expanded to three neighborhoods of that southwestern Finnish city.

The founder of The Soldiers of Odin, Mika Ranta, has admitted being a nationalist socialist, according to MTV3.

SVL states on its website that it carries out street patrols in the cities of Pori, Lahti, Tampere, Hyvinkää and Oulu. Likewise, the Solidiers of Odin claim on their Facebook page to carry out street patrols in Kemi, Rovaniemi, Tornio, Oulu Kajaani, Ylivieska, Pori, Joensuu, Helsinki, Tampere and Hämeenlinna.

The immediate question that arises concerning these neo-Nazi street patrols is what are they doing patrolling our streets.  What’s the reaction of the police service and politicians?

Are non-white people safe and could they be attacked by such neo-Nazis who are openly hostile to them?

It appears that not too many are worried. It’s a bit like the rise of far right nationalists in the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, who are just “letting off some racist steam” in parliament and municipal councils. White Finns aren’t too worried since they aren’t the target of their hateful anti-immigration rhetoric.

Western Finland deputy police chief, Timo Vuola, had nothing else to state in YLE except that such street patrols aren’t allowed to keep order.

If a Soldiers of Odin Facebook post is true, some Finns wouldn’t care less what the deputy chief said:

“I caught two of them and the rest escaped…I sat on top of one and held the other one with a hand-lock after a couple of minutes until man came to help me. The police arrived and thanked me stating that these types [asylum seekers] are a real problem…I nodded and stated: You don’t damn say! I was surprised that I didn’t get charged [by the police] for assault. I don’t care if I did. The grandmother’s and grandfather’s words [of gratitude] and expressions = priceless…?”

Näyttökuva 2015-12-12 kello 23.50.48

(more…)

Neo-Nazis now patrol the streets of Pori in southwestern Finland

by

Neo-Nazis are today patrolling the streets of the city of Pori, the home of Islamophobe Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Laura Huhtasaari, according to YLE News, which cites Pori-based daily Satakunnan Kansa

Writes YLE News: “Satakunnan Kansa reported that the SVL had started the patrols on Independence Day, and it has already extended those activities to other towns in the Satakunta region that host reception centers for asylum seekers.”

Here’s the catch and the reason why neo-Nazis are patrolling the streets of Pori now after before patrolling the streets of the northern Finnish city of Kemi. Too many white Finns, politicians, the media and police service, aren’t too outraged about this. They’re just a few young lads letting off some steam they probably reason.

We know that Huhtasaari, the PS MP with the kindergarten-teacher smile, probably thinks these types of patrols are justified because asylum seekers are mostly criminals and “illegal refugees (sic!).”

Näyttökuva 2015-12-12 kello 0.35.13
Read full story here.

(more…)

Researchers working for the police see falling support of the Perussuomalaiset as a danger to society

by

It’s incredible how even the police service feeds xenophobia in Finland. A column published by two applied science researchers on the Police College of Finland web page is a perfect example of the one-sided view that some people of the police service have of migrants and cultural diversity. 

One of the biggest problems in Finland when researching migrant crime is in the collection of equality data. For example, researchers cannot tell you what best practices they use and what their responsibility is in fueling ethnic profiling and victimization of certain national groups living in Finland.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-11 kello 10.45.13
Read full column (in Finnish) here.

A good example of how partial crime statistics can be used to ethnically profile migrants is one by the National Research Institute of Legal Policy (Optula), which states that the number of suspected rape cases in 2013 was 473. Of these around one third were committed by persons with “foreign backgrounds.”

Why don’t researchers care about the groups they study and ethnically profile?

(more…)

Ongoing debate on asylum seekers in Finland: Lawmakers who play or are ignorant of our laws and basic human rights

by

As I watched the A-studio: Talk debate about the record number of asylum seekers in Finland, I thought about Kadar Gelle, an anti-racism activist who watched Monday’s A-studio debate, where Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Tom Packalén, a former policeman who has built a political career on racist rhetoric, debates with Somali Finn Mukhtar Abib about the government’s plans to tighten immigration policy.  

Writes Kadar on his Facebook wall:

I turned on the A-studio program and saw Tom Packalen speaking about immigration. My blood started to boil from zero to one hundred until I understood that I can change television channels. It’s a waste of time to listen to a narcissistic and racist loudmouth [like Packalén] who suffers from a personality disorder. I turned off the television and my pulse went back in an instant to normal.

It’s interesting to note when watching Thursday’s A-studio debate on the record number of asylum seekers that have come to Finland how politicians capitalize on people’s fears.

Politicians like Eerola and many other act irresponsibly and recklessly especially during these times by spreading fear and xenophobia among an already frightened population. This shouldn’t surprise us since they have worked relentlessly to instill fear of migrants and asylum seekers. They have built lucrative political careers with the help of xenophobia and fear-mongering.

Juho Eerola is another PS MP who has built a political career on bigotry. The way he speaks about migrants is not only insulting but reveals his true political colors and what he wrote in 2010 about Benito Mussolini.

He wrote: “I myself am attracted to Benito Mussolini’s fascism, and in particular the economic policy [the country] pursued.”

Do you think that a person who sympathizes with Mussolini and who is a far right anti-immigration politician has anything constructive to say about how migrants should be integrated and become equal members of society?

Näyttökuva 2015-12-11 kello 6.04.25
PS MP Eerola’s pet topic is now one-way adaption or assimilation. Why? Because he wants to keep Finland white. See full TV program here.

One of the most crucial matters that these types of debate programs forget is Section 6 of our Constitution, which states:

(more…)

The Finnish government’s eighty-point tightening of immigration policy is all politics and saving face, nothing more

by

The Finnish government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä announced Tuesday an eighty-point tightening of Finnish immigration policy, according to YLE News.  The new plan by the government means very bad news for asylum seekers and refugees living in Finland. 

Some of the areas where immigration policy will be tightening family reunifications, implement fast-track deportations, grant bare-minimum financial aid to people awaiting decisions on their asylum status, even terminate a refugee’s residence permit if the situation in his or her home country improves considerably.

All these measures reveal one shameful matter about the present government: They want as many asylum seekers as possible to leave the country. This xenophobic attitude has been reinforced by scores of politicians, the police service, public officials and especially the media, which see these people with suspicion and manifest unease.

One may ask why the government of Prime Minister Sipilä, who offered his home to refugees in early September, is now tightening immigration policy even more?

(more…)

Xenophobia is a cancer that spreads in Finland

by

After years of looking the other way Finland is paying a high price today for its self-inflicted xenophobia. What are the consequences of such a social ill if we continue to permit it to roam freely with the help of urban tales, bigotry, populism and political chicanery?

The climate of suspicion that has Finland in a stranglehold has impacted our country in many ways negatively. It is a monkey wrench that has been thrown into the works of a successful nation that appears to have lost today its way and which fears its own shadow.

As our population grays we need new young people to move to this country. We need more jobs and innovation. In order to speed up the adaption process of these newcomers we need to be a more open and inclusive society.

Instead we have done the total opposite. We have reverted to false panaceas like xenophobia and anti-immigration rhetoric, which have made matters worse.

It’s not only society that loses but especially migrants and minorities trying to adapt and become a part of society.

Xenophobes commonly demand that migrants must adapt to our ways but instead place and build walls that exclude such people from being part of society.

Fear is one of the deadliest poisons of xenophobia. Fear is hate.

The present state of fear, which politicians, the media and public officials are feeding directly or indirectly, is one of the biggest challenges that Finland faces today. That’s why we need more, not less, leadership against xenophobia, fear and hate.

(more…)

Thomas Elfgren: Väkivallan demokraattinen alibi

by

Thomas Elfgren*

Kenelläkään ei ole oikeutta kohdella teitä kaltoin… Tämä on teidän maanne. Nämä ovat teidän talonne, teidän niittynne ja puutarhanne. Teidän muistonne… Näillä sanoilla Serbian kommunistisen puolueen puheenjohtaja Slobodan Miložević aloitti puheensa Kosovo Poljessa huhtikuussa 1987. Paikalle kerääntyneet serbit näkivät hänessä johtajan, joka välitti juuri heistä. 



Miloževićin haaveet Suur-Serbiasta käynnisti Balkanilla liki kymmenen vuotta kestävän konfliktin. Kymmenet tuhannet kuolivat, sadat tuhannet joutuivat pakenemaan kodeistaan, naisia raiskattiin ja kokonaisia kaupunkeja ja kyliä tuhottiin. Konfliktin tunnetuin yksittäinen tapahtuma on varmasti Srebrenican joukkotuhonta 1996. Muutamassa päivässä 8000 muslimipoikaa ja -miestä teloitettiin maatilan pellolle.

_________________________________________________________________________

Näyttökuva 2015-12-6 kello 20.10.32

_____________________________________________________________________________

Yksi tappajista oli reilu parikymppinen Dražen Erdemović, joka myöhemmin todisti Miloževićia vastaan YK:n kansainvälisessä sotarikostuomioistuimessa. Viattomien siviilien tappaminen oli välttämätöntä, koska Miložević niin sanoi.

(more…)

President Sauli Niinistö’s “ultimatum” to asylum seekers should apply to Finns as well

by

The capacity to live with difference is…the coming question of the twenty-first century.
Stuart Hall
President Sauli Niinistö said Saturday during a YLE Radio 1 question-and-answer session that those asylum seekers that don’t abide by our core values should leave Finland.

“That’s the central issue,” said President Niinistö. “People who want to be here need to accept our core values: democracy, equality, human rights and all of that. If they don’t, they can’t stay in Finland.”

 Näyttökuva 2015-12-5 kello 23.14.22Read full story here.

While few will disagree with what he said, it’s unfortunate that we assume too many things about ourselves and the asylum seekers. When we place ourselves on a pedestal and compare ourselves ethnocentrically to Others we easily forget that we too are humans and have a lot of faults and much to learn.

(more…)

UPDATE (December 5): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

by

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link.

December 5

Lähde vahvistaa: Suomessa majailee kolme kovan luokan terroristia (Iltalehti)

What’s wrong with this story? Finland’s two tabloids, Iltalehti and Ilta-Sanomat, are not an example of mediocre journalism but of commonly spreading bigotry, reinforcing racism and fear-mongering. Ilta-Sanomat did this in the early 1990s when the first Somalis came to Finland. Migrant Tales has published some billboards of those years. Here’s one story below where Iltalehti claims that “sources confirm” that there are three hardcore terrorists in Finland. Nowhere do we get a hint of the source or why the tabloid decides to keep his or her name anonymous. Considering the xenophobia, hostility and the burning of two asylum reception centers in Finland, and ceaseless fear-mongering taking place in the media and social media forums, this type of journalism is not only irresponsible but puts at risk the safety of migrants and asylum seekers in Finland. By inciting fear we encourage violence. Terrible and irresponsible journalism at its worst.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-5 kello 12.55.50

Read full story here.

Before asking asylum seekers to respect Finnish laws and culture we should ask if we practice what we preach

by

Interior Minister Petteri Orpo said that in order to make Finland a more secure place, each asylum seeker will have to sign an agreement that he or she will not break the law and respect Finnish culture, according to YLE

“In this way they [asylum seekers] will understand and promise to follow Finnish laws and culture,” said Orpo. “We want to make clear these basic rules [to them].”

Näyttökuva 2015-12-4 kello 18.03.08
Read full story here.

While such an initiative is bound to fail and fall flat on its face, I for one hope that Finnish politicians and ministers like Hanna Mäntylä and Jari Lindström and many others would follow, or at least understand, our constitution and laws.

What about substitute MPs of the PS like Juha Maenpää who wrote on his Facebook wall that god answered his prayers after an asylum reception center was razed to the ground by a suspected arson attack in Niinsalo Tuesday? How does Mäenpää follow and respect our laws and culture?

Orpo’s attempt to get asylum seekers to sign an agreement reveals, in my opinion, his opportunism and ignorance about the challenges the country faces with over 30,000 asylum seekers. It also reveals how much influence the PS has in government concerning immigration policy.

Such an “integration” contract has been suggested by many populist and anti-immigration politicians before. I don’t think it has ever been applied anywhere in Europe because it simply wouldn’t work.

Asking somebody to sign such a contract shows that you don’t trust them and see them as a security risk. A country that takes in refugees doesn’t offer a good image of itself and to asylum seekers by showing suspicion instead of faith and fairness towards them.

By asking them to sign such an agreement we are suggesting that they will break the law and are potential criminals. People, irrespective of their background, are innocent before proven guilty, right?  That’s a basic human right that applies to everyone. 

When Orpo talks about following Finnish culture does he mean that Muslims can now drink alcohol and get drunk the Finnish way? Can they be racist like some Finns? Racism is a part of our culture and a way how men and women boost their low self-esteem.

Go here if you want to read something about the dark side of Finnish culture.

(more…)

An arson attack against an asylum reception center in Finland gets a mixed response

by

Juha Maenpää, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* substitute MP, who wrote that the burning of an asylum reception center in Niinisalo Tuesday morning was how god answered his prayers, is an indication of how xenophobia has overtaken Finland. Reaction to what he said are highly revealing as well about the state of Finland today. 

To show how lopsided the present debate about asylum seekers and our ever-growing culturally diverse society is, one could test the latter statement by Juha Maenpää and ask what would happen if a migrant, never mind a Muslim, would have made such a claim.

Instead of the Muslim stating what Maenpää said, “Great. There is a god. My prayers have been answered,” the only word the Muslim would substitute in Maenpää’s statement is god for Allah.

How would the media and politicians react? Would we see a storm or a hurricane?

Migrant Tales spoke to Maenpää by phone Wednesday. He said that “politicians should wake up to the situation, if they don’t it could spark a civil war.”

Today on a Facebook post on his wall, which was published by waltamedia.fi, Maenpää didn’t appear to repent what he posted on his Facebook wall Tuesday.

Headlined “I’m in the eye of the storm!” Maenpää claims that he didn’t pray for the asylum reception center to be razed to the ground. He said that his statement was taken out of context.

While the PS politician appears to want to confuse us with his double-talk, few people, even from his party, believe what he said was appropriate. But then there’s this usual silence coming from the PS…

Näyttökuva 2015-12-3 kello 15.28.04
Read full story here.

(more…)

Deputy police chief: Finnsh hate crimes have doubled in Helsinki so far this year from 2014

by

Racist crimes have doubled in Helsinki from last year, according to Jyväskylä-based daily Keskisuomalainen, which cites the Finnish News Agency (STT). The total number of racist crimes that have been reported this year is about 70.  

Helsinki Deputy Police Chief Ilkka Koskimäki was quoted as saying that a typical racist crime is when somebody accuses a Muslim of a crime and may be guilty of ethnic agitation or defamation of character.

Like in many countries in Europe, hate crimes go underreported in Finland as well and are only the tip of the iceberg, according to a recent shadow report by the NGO European Network Against Racism.

Considering that Finland’s migrant and minority population is growing and that we have a record number of asylum seekers that have come to the country, it would be a good idea to adopt in the Criminal Code of Finland (515/2003) the term “hate” and “racist crime.”

(more…)

Perussuomalaiset politician states “god has answered his prayers” after an asylum reception center was burned due to a suspected arson attack

by

Finland saw probably for the first time an asylum reception center in Niinisalo, which was going to house asylum seekers next week, being razed to the ground by a suspected arson attack Tuesday. While such an attack should be condemned by everyone, there’s a Perussuomalaiset (PS) politician called Juha Maenpää who is rejoicing at what happened.  

By condoning and rejoicing at such an act of violence politicians like Maenpää and his party are encouraging others to carry out similar acts of violence against migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and minorities in Finland.

The PS politician is also a member of the far right Suomen Sisu association in which PS MP Olli Immonen is chairman.

Mäenpää stated: “Great. There is a god. My prayers have been answered.”

Migrant Tales phoned the chairman and vice chairman, Ville Jussila and Janne Viianen, of the Vaasa PS office where Maenpää is a member but they would not answer my calls.

I was able to get in touch with Maenpää.

UPDATE: “Politicians should wake up to the situation,” he told Migrant Tales, “if they don’t it could spark a civil war.”

Maenpää added that he did not want his statement to incite violence against migrants and asylum seekers.

Why are these PS politicians so quiet? Why doesn’t at least Maenpää step up to the plate and take responsibility for his statements that condone violence.

Considering that the media and politicians like Prime Minister Juha Sipilä are willing to even call a crisis meeting because of an alleged rape that took place in Kempele, it’s incredible that nobody, never mind the PS leadership, is reacting to what Maenpää said.

Shame on them and shame on Finland.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-2 kello 0.08.54
Read original Facebook posting here.

(more…)

UPDATE (December 1): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

by

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link.

December 1

Two rape stories weighed differently – (Helsingin Sanomat)*

What’s wrong with these two stories? Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest daily, published two rape stories Tuesday. One, which got half of a spread, was about an alleged rape that was committed by a suspected foreigner or asylum seeker in a Helsinki park. The other, which was a brief, was about a white Finnish man who got sentenced for raping a drunk fifteen-year-old. Why did the story with the foreigner get more attention than the one with the Finnish man, who got sentenced for raping a minor? The easiest answer is that Helsingin Sanomat, which should know better, doesn’t? Why? Because like some sectors of Finnish society it too is inflicted by racism. And why wouldn’t it be? Aren’t the reporters working for Helsingin Sanomat of everything that is good and bad about Finnish society? Finland’s largest newspaper’s poor, sloppy and opinionated journalism sheds light on a wider problem and how we condemn less rape committed by white Finns but demand blood if it is a migrant, refugee or asylum seeker. Sad but true.

* Thank you Reima Välimäki for bringing such double-standards to our attention on a Facebook posting

Näyttökuva 2015-12-1 kello 16.33.49

Are asylum seekers escaping war now the target of arson attacks in Finland?

by

A two-storey building which was supposed to house asylum seekers next week in Niinisalo may have been the target of an arson attack, according to tabloid Iltalehti. We hope that this isn’t the case. The last thing that asylum seekers escaping war should face in Finland are arson attacks. 

Let’s not jump to rapid conclusions yet until we have the official report from the authorities.

In Finland there have been a number of failed arson attempts targeting refugee asylum centers in cities like Ylivieska, Lammi and Kouvola, which have been reported by the media. 

Some ten suspected rape cases committed by asylum seekers have been reported by the media. Such cases have added petrol to the xenophobic narrative that we see spreading freely and too often in social media and in the national media.

Näyttökuva 2015-12-1 kello 10.20.54
Read full story here.

 

Migrants’ Rights Network: Why do migrants suffer exploitation? – Some thoughts on vulnerability and globalised labour markets

by

Don Flynn*

Don_web_0

 

 

 

Migrants are bad news because they worsen wages and working conditions for the rest of us we are so often told. A new book says we have to pay far more attention to the conditions we impose on those who arrive looking for jobs if we really want to tackle the scourge of modern slavery.

Critics of immigration strive to make the case that low pay and exploitation are increasingly rife because newcomers apparently degrade the wages and work conditions secured by home-grown workers.

But their case stumbles over the fact that the point at which wages as a proportion of gross national income began to sharply decline was way back in the mid-1970s. Net migration was at a historically low point back then.

According to the TUC figures, the high point in terms of the share of income that went to wage earners was 1975, when over 64% of the nation’s annual wealth went into the pay packets of workers. By 1996 this had declined to 52%.

Since then the wage share went up to 56% in the months just before the credit crunch plunged the country into deep recession in 2007-08.  No one should miss the irony that this brief period of improvement coincided with the return of years of substantial net migration.

(more…)

Political parties try to calm Finland’s xenophobic atmosphere with mixed statements that miss the mark

by

What credibility does a joint statement by all the parties that have parliamentary representation appealing for calm in the face of 10 alleged rape cases committed by suspected asylum seekers? It offers little credibility since the message is mixed. 

A good example of the mixed message is Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Teuvo Hakkarainen, who attended an anti-immigration demonstration in Jyväskylä Saturday.

The PS shares power in government with the Center Party and National Coalition Party.

It’s nothing unusual that the PS says one thing and does another.

In the article below, published in the PS publication Suomen Uutiset, Hakkarainen claims that Finland is starting to look like an “occupied” country since over 30,000 asylum seekers have come here.

“Eighty-five percent of asylum seekers are men and they act as if they have [militarily] occupied this country,” said Hakkarainen. “Crimes are committed and many more will be committed. While the national media keeps everything under wraps, the police has contacted me anonymously and asked me why isn’t the truth being told?”

What is ironic in the story below is that Hakkarainen never tells us what is the so-called “truth.” He only fear-mongers.

A few matters about MP Hakkarainen that you should know before reading ahead:

Näyttökuva 2015-11-29 kello 11.54.54
Read full story here.

(more…)

UPDATE: Finnish asylum center in Kempele is intimidated by local residents and moves to an undisclosed location

by

It is shameful that an asylum reception center in Kempele, where an alleged rape of a minor took place on Monday by a suspected 17-year-old asylum seeker, has caved in to pressure. Kempele is the hometown of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, who offered in September his home to asylum seekers.

According to Oulu-based daily Kaleva, the Oulun Diakonissalaitoksen Säätiö (ODL), which runs the asylum reception center for minors in Kempele, said in a statement that since Tuesday the area round the center “has been restless.” Stones and firecrackers have been thrown at the building with people have entered the premises without permission. 

Why hasn’t the police in Kempele offered protection to the residents and staff of the asylum reception center?

Citing the Oulu police service, the asylum reception center has now moved to an undisclosed location, according to YLE News.

On Saturday some 200 demonstrators protested against the asylum center and demanded that Finns only have a right to live in Finland and that the country’s borders should be immediately closed. See the video of the demonstration below.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-28 kello 19.29.55

Read full story and watch video of demonstration here.

(more…)

Olli Sademies finally gets sacked from the PS of Finland for being too racist

by

Olavi Sademies, a former member of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party and substitute councilman for Helsinki, is a disgrace to the police service, Finns and Finland. His Facebook postings are openly racist and reveal what is wrong with this country and the PS. 

Even if became a substitute councilman in 2012, it was only in 2015 that he was sacked from the PS.

Some of the reasons for getting the boot were his racist fear-mongering, Islamophobic comments like suggesting a pig blood spray repellent for Muslims and forced castration of African males who have more than three children.

For the latter posting on Facebook, the PS decided not to take any action against Sademies but in July the deputy state prosecutor office announced that it would be investigating the retired policeman’s post on forced castration of Africans.

Sademies has about 5,000 “friends” on Facebook. Some of his friends are well-known politicians who are outspoken on anti-racism issues. I wonder if any of these “friends” have ever messaged Sademies and told him that his postings are racist and offensive to migrants in Finland?

If they haven’t they should.

I would “unfriend” such a person. Why feed his racist fantasies with your Facebook “friendship?”

Näyttökuva 2015-11-28 kello 12.30.25
Read full story here.

(more…)

Ombudsman for children: Finland has failed third culture children and youths

by

Tuomas Kurttila, the ombudsman for children, tells us something we’ve known for a long time but have done little to nothing to resolve: Finland has failed at integrating third culture children. One does not have to be a expert on inclusion to understand that what Kurttila states is true.

But let’s take what he says a bit further. What does he mean by “failure?” Is he speaking of how we’ve failed as a society to tackle ethnic discrimination and racism?

There’s a lot of evidence that sheds light on what the ombudsman for children claims. For one, schools and society too often see children and youths that have one or two migrant parents as outsiders. One of the pet terms used for these children and youths is “person with foreign” or “migrant background.” The term in Finnish is ulkomaalaistaustainen and maahanmuuttotaustainen, respectively.

Why is it so important for a school or a society to label people with a name that’s not even a country but a circumstance that is defined by others that have power over you? Do these terms promote inclusion and social equality?

I don’t believe so. They do just the opposite because they remind the person that he or she is an outsider. What does it mean to be labeled as an outsider in today’s Finland, which is suspicious of migrants and minorities?

That’s why I wonder why people like Nasima Razmyar, Ali Jahangiri, Alizad Arman and others, who have lived most of their lives in Finland, are not only seen by some as “people with migrant background” but agree with the label.

As our culturally diverse society grows we should challenge those very terms that hinder and block our paths to inclusion and to be treated with respect by society. Having a foreign-sounding name, or having a different ethnic background, shouldn’t hinder your bright future in this country.

How one accepts and defines their Finnish identity is up to the person since identity is a personal matter. The important matter is that you define who you are, not others.

In Finland people are classified in the following manner: by country of birth, mother tongue and nationality. One can become a naturalized citizen but the person’s country of birth and mother tongue will always be present to otherize him or her, in some cases negatively.  This ethnic classification scheme was devised and enforced by white Finns.  In other words nobody cared to ask who you are.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-28 kello 7.40.46
Read full story here.

(more…)

Let’s have a frank talk about rape and xenophobia in Finland

by

All criticism that surrounds immigration policy in this country is easily labelled as hate speech and racism. 

James Hirvisaari

I don’t usually begin an opinion piece with a quote by an Islamophobe like Hirvisaari that was sentenced for ethnic agitation. This will be an exception because I’d like to answer the claim that the former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP made in parliament on November 11, 2014: Islamophobes like you usually dress up hate speech and racism with so-called criticism of immigration policy. 

We all know that “criticism of immigration policy” is code for the worst kind of bigotry and hate speech in our society.

The other misconception used by Islamophobes is that their free speech is being undermined since they aren’t allowed to spread freely their hate speech and racism, which they are doing right under our noses constantly.

The fact that Islamophobes criticize some sectors of society that openly challenge and condemn their hate speech and racism is a positive matter. We got a shocking taste of anti-Semitism in the 1930s to understand what can happen when we allow a social ill like racism to spread freely like wildfire.

In the same way that anti-Semitism was allowed to plant its poisonous seeds in society over eighty years ago we get a frightening glimpse of how Islamophobia and xenophobia fuel the worst in us. The media, politicians and society in general are all culprits.

The latest example of this vengeful hatred was seen this week when two suspected asylum seekers, who are minors aged 15 and 17, were lynched by social media and politicians like Prime Minister Juha Sipilä for raping a 14-year-old minor in Kempele.

In one shot the hatred and racism of our society towards Others was shamefully exposed once again.

What did we forget when we pointed the accusing mob finger at these asylum seekers? We forget one of the most important human rights of our country:

We are innocent till proven guilty by an independent and impartial tribunal.

(more…)

Kempele, Finland, suspected rape case: Is the social media lynching party over?

by

If you read stories Tuesday about a fourteen-year-old girl who was raped in Kempele by two  suspects aged 15 and 17 years, who are Afghani asylum seekers, today’s news offers a totally different twist, reports YLE News.

According to a police statement, one of the suspects has been released from police custody because he didn’t have anything to do with the alleged crime.

The 17-year-old being held by the police denies that he had raped the victim.

The police stated that comments made especially in social media “have been brisk and mostly inappropriate” and that “people cannot write whatever they wish in social media.”

Näyttökuva 2015-11-25 kello 23.02.26
Read full story here.

(more…)

Every suspected rape in Finland brings out the bigot from within

by

Every suspected rape committed by a foreigner is a threat to the migrant and visible minority community because it gives a boost to bigots and racists in Finland. It is also a perfect example of how a social media lynching takes place in Finland and how it boosts parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, which base their popularity on anti-cultural diversity rhetoric.  

Both the suspects and victim of the latest case are minors. Even so, the media and Finland’s Prime Minister Juha Sipilä haven’t wasted any time in pointing the finger at the suspected asylum seekers, aged 15 and 17 years.

And there’s an important reason why Sipilä reacted so quickly: He offered in September his home in Kemeple to asylum seekers.

There are more questions than answers that surround the latest rape case. For one, how did MTV3 television channel get information that the suspects are asylum seekers and from a country like Afghanistan? Did the police leak the information to the media?

Moreover, as Finland appears on the war path against these minors, I always thought that people are innocent until proven guilty in this country.

Just like with the Tapanila rape case, the national media and social media have already sentenced the suspects before their trial begins.

(more…)

Reija Härkönen: Poliitikot rasistikansan asialla

by

Reija Härkönen

Tänään oli sitten sellainen uutispäivä, että tiesi, mitä on odotettavissa, kun kurkistaa tietynlaisten kansanedustajien Facebook-sivuille. Kalevassa julkaistiin uutinen epäillystä raiskauksesta aamulla klo 10. Tämä on tilanne iltapäivällä klo 13. Kansanedustajilla on toiveita siitä, että turvapaikanhakijat ovat syyllistyneet rikokseen.

Raiskaus Eerola
Kansanedustaja Eerolan olisi suotavaa antaa tarkempi erittely tietämistään prosentuaalisista osuuksista.

(more…)

A cartoon by Ville Ranta that exposes the real face of anti-immigration groups and parties

by

The cartoon below, “After the attack,” shows a member of an anti-immigration group drinking the blood of a victim of the Paris terrorist attack on Friday the 13th of November

In my opinion, the cartoon below by Ville Ranta shows to a tee how members of anti-immigration groups and parties reacted to the Paris terrorist attacks.

What’s your opinion?

Näyttökuva 2015-11-20 kello 22.32.01
The first group that was present after the terrorist attacks of Paris were members of anti-immigration groups.

Migrants’ Rights Network: Lessons of Paris – Borders won’t protect us: Solidarity with refugees remains the best hope

by

Don Flynn*

Näyttökuva 2015-5-3 kello 12.52.32

 

 

 

The Friday 13th attacks in Paris are being interpreted by many commentators as politicians as a watershed moment in public attitudes towards refugee policies in Europe.

But as recently as August and September this year hundreds and thousands of European citizens took a remarkable stand of declaring a welcome for refugees coming from the war-torn Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa.

______________________________________________________________________________

Näyttökuva 2015-11-23 kello 20.02.43
Read full opinion piece here.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Attempts have been made to argue that this support has vanished in the wake of the terrorist attacks on people enjoying Friday night at music concerts and restaurants in the otherwise peaceful city of Paris.  One example of this effort to declare an end to the moods which proclaimed support for the right of refugees to find a safe haven in Europe came in the form of an article in the London Evening Standard on 18 November. Prominent Conservative MP David Davis declared the need for an outright end to the freedom of movement in Europe which has been made possible by the Schengen Agreement.

Davis wrote: “… it is becoming evident that controlling Europe’s external borders, especially the porous borders of southern Europe, is virtually impossible. There are too many physical, legal, political and moral problems inherent in policing that vast frontier effectively.”

He appears to applaud the decisions of the Austrian, French, Dutch and Swedish governments to reintroduce border checks, and even the actions of the Hungarian and Slovak authorities in reinforcing these with kilometres of fencing and razor wire.  Perhaps he believes that these actions will solve the “physical, legal, political and moral problems” that get in the way of managing the flow of people across the southern frontiers of the EU.

The proffered solution is a return to a Europe in which national states are responsible for admitting or refusing people entry into their territories and then dealing with the consequences.  But, strangely enough, for the countries at the EU’s southern and eastern frontiers, that is exactly the system that has always operated.  Greece operates primarily within a framework of Greek immigration policies when it comes to deciding who is permitted to cross its borders; as does Italy; France; Spain; and both Cyprus and Malta.

The claim that we are in today’s predicament because of the overbearing effects of bureaucratically-imposed European policies is clearly fallacious.  We are where we are because Europe, acting in concert with other powers in the Eastern Mediterranean, has failed over the course of many years to overcome the crisis which spreads in a great arc from Turkey and across the North African Maghreb, with a tributary branch feeding in from the Horn of Africa. This failure has been allowed to create a great confluence of refugee movements that brings people to its own doorstep.

Declaring a formal end to the Schengen Agreement and reintroducing controls at all the internal borders of the EU will not deal with the situations which led to 218,000 refugees entering Europe in October alone.  The driving forces behind these movements, as a recent commentary paper by the European Policy Centre points out, are the continuing upheaval in countries which have put 4.3 million Syrians, 2.6 million Afghans, 1 million Somalis and 600,000 Sudanese onto the road as refugees during the past few years.

‘Fortress Europe’ was never going to hold back the volume of people pressing against its gates indefinitely.  The radical measures taken to impoverish the Greek state through austerity might have been the tipping point from struggling efforts to manage to outright crisis but the genie is now out the bottle and won’t easily be persuaded to go back in.

The anti-free movement lobby hopes that if one border can’t do the trick then maybe six, ten or twenty will succeed in holding back the refugee masses in someplace far away.  Mr Davis rejoices in the fact that the UK is an island and the convenience of having a surrounding sea ought to buy the country a bit more scope for keeping the refugees out.

It is difficult to be happy with this as a solution to the business of managing refugee movements in the 21st century.  The hope that all our neighbours will do the heavy lifting whilst we sit back to reap the benefits will not endear us European countries that want to see more solidarity as they face up to the challenges of processing the claims of those who seek a safe haven.

The attacks in Paris were agonisingly brutal for those who caught up in them.  If it is possible for such an appalling situation to be made worse by any subsequent action it has come from the renewed clamour to roll back on refugee and migrant rights.  Advocating this response looks too much like the very outcome that fanatics of Daesh have sought to engineer.

The security of ordinary people across Europe will not be enhanced by any measure that reduces the commitment of this region to human rights and the rights of refugees.  The re-imposition of border checks on the myriad frontiers of the European states will check, for a time, the flow of desperate people. It will cause more hardship and suffering on top of what they have already had to endure.  And it will be a step away from the countries of this region addressing the real root causes of the refugee crisis and will postpone the day when tens of thousands no longer feel that they have to embark on dangerous journeys to get to these shores.

Read original posting here.

This piece was reprinted by Migrant Tales with permission.

*Don Flynn, the MRN Director, leads the organisation’s strategic development and coordinates MRN’s policy and project work. He is a regular and sought-after speaker at conferences, seminars and lectures on behalf of MRN.

UPDATE: An asylum reception center map we should all be ashamed of in Finland

by

As long as we have politicians and other community leaders who support hate speech overtly or with their silence, and as long as parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* base their support on racism against people who are different from them, Finland will not be a safe country for everyone. 

The map below is shameful considering that we’re one of the most affluent and apparently safest countries in the world.

Politicians, the media and the public are ignorant of the sheer hardships and destruction that the war, which we’ve been accomplices in, have brought on the people of the Middle East and Africa. We’re only outsiders looking in and what our eyes reveal is enough for some of us to turn our backs.

But what about if I told you about the horrors of war and gave you a ringside view of the raw violence and utter despair of people who are commonly blown to shreds by bombs and hate? Would you want to know? Would what you’d see change your life forever?

Näyttökuva 2015-11-22 kello 9.50.13
Municipalities where asylum reception centers have been attacked and where there have been problems. Source: Yle.

There are probably more attacks against asylum reception centers in Finland than the YLE map above suggests. Migrant Tales wrote in early November a suspected arson attack against the Pitäjänmäki reception center that was not reported by the media.

(more…)

Susheela Daniel: On being a multicultural Finn

by

I got to know Susheela Daniel through many of her insightful Facebook postings. She was one of the brave women who protested in front of parliament against the election of Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party MP Maria Lohela as speaker of parliament. One of her latest Facebook posts was on “integrated migrants” raised some good questions about Uncle Toms in the migrant and minority community.

An Uncle Tom, or Tuomo-setä or setä Tuomo in Finnish, is a term used in the United States for people who betray their race in order to get privileges. Urban Dictionary defines it in the following way: “A black man who will do anything to stay in good standing with ‘the white man’ including betray his own people.”

Susheela2
Susheela Daniel. Photo by Fateme Azizi.

In a multiethnic country like the United States, the Uncle Tom label plays an important role. One of the roles it plays is a bit similar to a deserter in times of war.

Taking a look at the violence and hostility that some minorities are facing in the United States, it’s clear that the Uncle Tom label aims to protect a community that is already embattled by racism, social exclusion and scarce opportunities.

How would one define an Uncle Tom in Finland?

Daniel admits that she’s never heard of the term Tuomo-setä in Finnish never mind in English but agrees that the phenomenon exists in Finland.

(more…)

Reija Härkönen: Älkää sanoko, että tapahtuuhan sellaista muissakin maissa

by

Reija Härkönen

Tässä maassa on ihmisiä, jotka hyökkäävät sanoin ja väkivaltaisin teoin pakolaisia vastaan. Sotaa ja vainoa paenneita ihmisiä, äitejä ja isiä lapsineen pelotellaan ja uhkaillaan. Yksin tulleiden lastenkin majapaikkaan tehtiin jo polttopulloisku. Punaista Ristiäkin, hyväntekijää, vihataan, vaikka törkeimmätkin sotajoukot yleensä sallivat järjestön toiminnan siviilien ja haavoittuneiden parissa.

Meillä vihataan lapsia, koska he ovat tulleet vieraasta maasta ja vieraasta kulttuurista. Vihaajat on opetettu vihaamaan. Jo yli vuosikymmenen jatkunut järjestelmällinen vihanlietsonta on tehnyt tehtävänsä. Tuosta vastenmielisestä kampanjasta suurimmmassa vastuussa on Perussuomalaiset r.p., mutta muutkaan puolueet ja tahot eivät ole täysin viattomia.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-20 kello 22.46.17

Pelko ei sillä vähene, että vastaanottokeskusten tiedotustilaisuuksissa  kuunnellaan hurmoshenkisiä rasisteja ja hysteerisiä tytärtensä puolesta pelkääjiä ja sanotaan, että poliisi kyllä valvoo. Ihmisille on kerrottava, että pelko on lietsottua ja täysin turhaa, eikä irakilainen nuori mies ole sen pelottavampi, kuin suomalainen. On selvää, että sota-alueilta lähteneet ihmiset, jotka joutuvat kuukausikaupalla toimettomina odottelemaan kohtalonsa selviämistä, saattavat olla levottomia, nahistelevia ja hankaliakin, mutta kukapa ei tuollaisessa tilanteessa olisi. Syrjäytyneitä meillä on myös omasta takaa.

Rasismi lisääntyy nyt koko ajan. Sen, että meille on tullut paljon pakolaisia, ei mitenkään pitäisi olla rasismia lisäävä asia – päinvastoin! Kun meille saapuu ihmisiä, jotka ovat kaiken menettäneitä ja pitkästä matkastaan väsyneitä, luulisi jokaisen vähänkin ajattelevan ja välittävän ihmisen ottavan heidät ystävällisesti vastaan ja myös pikku hiljaa tottuvan vähän vieraan näköisten ihmisten kohtaamiseen.

(more…)

UPDATE (November 20): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

by

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link.

November 20

Aukeavatko suvakin silmät? – (Tamperelainen)

What’s wrong with this community paper editorial? Community papers like Helsingin Uutiset and Vantaa Sanomat are just as bad as other media in spreading bigotry and urban tales about immigrants. They do this for two reasons: they don’t know better and because it’s a good way of boosting their advertising revenues. The editorial by the latest Tamperelainen spewed some pretty harsh rhetoric about asylum seekers. It claimed, among other things, that some asylum seekers are swindlers and that Europe should take a tougher stance against such people. The editorial by the paper’s editor, Karri Kannala, headlined “When will Kumbaya multiculturalists open their eyes,” claims the following: “Speaking of migration is racism, promoting Finnish identity is fascism. You can only talk about multiculturalism if you are a kumbaya multiculturalist, other opinions aren’t welcome.” Bigotry, racism and prejudice still attract big crowds in Finland. They are used by community papers as well and are an example of the worse type of journalism that you can find.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-20 kello 11.37.31

Read full story in Finnish here.

Facebook: Lukekaa tämä, pyydän

by

Adam Al-Sawad on rohkea mies koska hän puolustaa meidän arvoja.

“Hän sanoi, ettemme kuulu Suomeen. Minä sanoin, että hän ei kuuluu Suomeen; Suomeen kuuluu asiallinen käyttäytyminen.”

Al-Sawad pyytää meitä lukemaan mitä hän kirjoitti. Lukekaa.

_______________________________________________

Näyttökuva 2015-11-19 kello 22.15.54

Defining white Finnish privilege #25: This land is my land, this land isn’t your land

by

It’s disturbing to watch in Finland journalists who maintain and promote urban tales and racism. One of these is Tuomas Enbuske who invited Lenita Airisto to his television talk show to speak about Muslims. When Aristo opens her mouth and gives her opinions about cultural diversity, it’s evident that she still lives is a provincial and stuffy time warp of pre-1990s Finland.

One of the many things she said that exposed her bigotry in a recent talk show with Enbuske was that Muslim women should show more flexible in Finland and take off their veils if they live here.

Airisto, who shamelessly patronizes the Muslim host, Maryam Askar, continuously pats her on the shoulder as if she had such a right.

The patting on the shoulder is a good example of how Airisto sees minorities like Askar as if they were children.

But then she states something that exposes her white privilege to a tee:

“You have come to my country, Finland is my country, and has taken you in with open arms…”

This affirmation, which is highly offensive because Airisto still believes that Finland and the Finns are only white.

What Airisto is doing is denying Askar the right to be different, which is the basis of racism in Finland. Racists and racism is nothing more in Finland than people who have serious issues with people who are different from them.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-19 kello 18.27.18
Host Tuomas Enbuske is no rocket scientist when it comes to debating matters like immigration and Muslims. He shows more ignorance and conservative opinionated views than sound judgement. In one of his talk shows he advertised “why Somalis rape?” His show got a warning  as a result from The Council for Mass Media for making such a racist statement.

(more…)

Terrorism ironically exposes the lies of Islamophobic politicians and parties

by

The closer terrorist acts hit us like the one that befell Paris on Friday, the fewer the arguments nationalist-populist politicians have to defend their Islamophobia. While this may not apply to all of Europe, especially to Eastern European countries like Hungary and Slovakia, it has come as a political blow to anti-immigration politicians in Finland.

What can you say and how would you interpret what Perussuomalaiset (PS)* head, Timo Soini, said after the Paris attacks?

“There is a danger that innocent people, who are escaping terror and terrorism would be related to [the Paris attacks],” he was quoted as saying in the national media.

President Sauli Niinistö and Minister of the Interior Petteri Orpo confirmed what Soini said. 

Certainly one reason why Finland’s head of state and its ministers said what they did is because they are not only concerned about Isis-inspired terrorism in Europe but the homegrown kind that could spring from careless Islamophobic statements that could lead to deaths.

Words have consequences and can be easily turned into bullets and bombs. 

But should we take Soini’s warning in earnest or does his statement reveal the power struggle in his party between politicians like MEP Jussi Halla-aho and himself? 

We mustn’t forget that it was Soini who gave a political voice to xenophobes in his party. 

If there is an apology that should be given to migrants and minorities in Finland, it should come from the PS and Soini.

It is ironic but as terrorism gets closer to us the clearer we some of us are able to distinguish between fact and anti-immigration fiction.

The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.

Migrants’ Rights Network: Frontier anxiety: Living with the stress of the everyday border

by

Don Flynn*

What happens when we bring the anxieties of life at the border into the heart of our all our communities? How can we contend with life in a space where identity is constantly checked and people subjected to the question: Why are you really here? MRN director Don Flynn asks this in an article published this month in Soundings, a journal of cultural politics and simultaneously on the website of Eurozine. The full article can be accessed here.

State borders hold a place in the collective imagination of our times in which anxiety plays a central part. It is at borders that the mundane certainties of life dissolve and the simple business of existing becomes a matter of uncertainty. This is the place where a person is forced to confront with the sharpest of intensity the fact that the rights which usually seem as securely available as an intimate personal possession are in fact a by-product of their relationship with the authorities of a state. It is at the border that this relationship can be called into most fundamental question. “I see you are in possession of a British passport madam”, says the immigration officer. “But can you explain to me how you came by this document and why you feel you are entitled to benefit from it?”

Photo: Martin Deutsch. Source: Flickr

This is a disconcerting question that few of us would feel confident of answering (certainly without detailed knowledge of the provisions of the British Nationality Act 1981). Most of us are in the happy position of being unlikely to be pushed too far on the matter. But some are not. For example, one young man I assisted with legal advice told me of his anxious hours at Heathrow airport when his claim that he was British-born, if not raised, was treated with deep scepticism. He had been born in Britain, but when he was six years old his Guyanese parents had taken him to their home country after a decade of life in London. Now returning to study at university, his case was only resolved after his lawyer intervened with additional evidence of his personal circumstances.

But if a British citizen can be subjected to this level of stress, how much greater are the anxiety levels for a Filipina nurse questioned about a visa that is probably incomprehensible to her – supplied by an agent back in Manila, who has assured her that it entitles her to come to the UK to accept the offer of a job as a nurse. It is entirely possible that all the deals that have been done – the form-filling, the gathering of supporting documents, the photographing, the English testing, the finger-print taking, and the payment of often very considerable fees, will be picked apart by an assiduous official who routinely finds grounds for doubting that a young woman from northern Santa Teresita could ever have been awarded a degree in health care from the country’s prestigious De La Salle University.

Beyond Fortress Europe


This article is part of the Eurozine focal pointBeyond Fortress Europe.

The scale of the human tragedy afflicting migrants who seek entry to Fortress Europe has increased dramatically of late, triggering a new European debate on laws, borders and human rights. A debate riddled with the complex, often epic, narratives that underlie immediate crisis situations. [more]

At a border you can be mentally stripped naked through rigorous interrogation, before being taken to a small room where you are physically stripped. Diaries will be read and hard drives on laptops scrutinized; while the letter from your cousin offering you a sofa to doss on until you sort out your own place will be the subject of excited interest, in case it reveals a snippet or two about why you are “really” here. When things go wrong for you at a border you lose the right to tell your own story of your life. You see another you being assembled before your very eyes, through which you are presented as a monster of conniving malevolence, capable of any deceit in your efforts to lay your hands on something to which you have no entitlement. The worst thing is that you are invited at each stage to follow the logic of this deconstruction of yourself. By the end you may find yourself morbidly agreeing that, “yes, I can see how you would believe that of me …”.

In short, a border is a place where most of us don’t want to be for any longer than the time it takes to clear the queues at immigration control, pick up your luggage and board the bus to the centre of town. As the border gets further behind you with each passing minute, you return to a world which may have its everyday worries and concerns, but in which there is at least the assurance that, in normal, mundane intercourse, the default presumption is that you are who you say you are.

But nowadays, for increasing numbers of people, this is not what happens. The border is no longer something to be negotiated on the relatively few occasions in life when we make a conscious decision to approach it and hazard all its dangers. Those disconcerting immigration officials are now being given leave to absent themselves from passport checking duties: they are being sent off in minibuses to ply their trade in many of the places where ordinary folk need to go as part of their daily lives. People may now be asked to verify their immigration status when they apply for a tenancy, or to university, or for child support, or even at the tube station.

(more…)

France’s and Isis’ spiral of one-way terror and destruction

by

The Paris attacks of Friday 13 came as a windfall to hardliners who still believe that the solution in the Middle East is military. We are now seeing the impact of such a mistaken policy in the way of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers coming to Europe this year and the terror attacks of Friday. 

Zoe Samudzi offers us poignant analysis of the terror that struck Paris:

“It is important to honor the individuals who were killed in these acts of violence, and central to honoring their deaths is ensuring that we understand why these attacks may have happened in an effort to prevent further human suffering.”

The big question, and a very effective one, is if we want to honor these individuals by understanding why such attacks took place in the first place.

It would be interesting to find out what percentage of Europeans, who are not driven by fear or feelings of blind revenge, believe what President Barack Obama said about the attacks and that they were against “all of humanity and the universal values we all share.”

Are those “universal values” that President Obama states include invading and sledgehammering other countries?

France, which has been one of the most bellicose countries against Syria, responded with a new wave of bombings shortly after the attacks in Paris. You don’t have to be an expert on the Middle East to understand that those bombings won’t solve anything except increase the number of deaths and amount of destruction.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-16 kello 11.13.31
We need more sustainable solutions in the Middle East. Bombing is not one of them. Thank you Michael McEachrane for the heads-up.

(more…)

How Timo Soini and the PS hope that the terrorist attacks of Paris will give them a picker-upper in the polls

by

Below are two quotes. One is by the present foreign minister, Timo Soini, and the other below is by former Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja. Soini is a member of a party that made its mark in politics thanks to its anti-immigration and isolationist rhetoric. 

Since Soini and his party, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, base their rhetoric on false promises that have been broken after becoming a member of government, their popularity has taken a nosedive in the polls.

What they say and promise have nothing to do with present-day Finland because they are based on lies and if they had free reign they’d legally turn migrants and minorities to third-class citizens.

Everything they propose to demote migrants and minorities in Finland is unconstitutional.

But the show must go on before the PS ship sinks for good as the Titanic did in 1912.

Let’s check out two very different quotes by Soini and Tuomioja about the carnage that took place in Paris Friday.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-14 kello 10.47.18

Soini was quoted above as saying on Uusi Suomi the following about the Paris attacks: “We have to take what happened [in Paris] seriously. The simple message shouldn’t leave any doubt that democracy will be defended. We will neither give these forces the upper hand nor bow to them but we’ll attack and challenge them.”

(more…)

How will the far right and anti-immigration parties in Europe try to exploit what happened in Paris today?

by

Terrorism is a sign of how dysfunctional our society an countries are at dealing with global conflicts. I’m so saddened by the violence and watch with manifest unease how the far right and anti-immigration populist party will exploit what happened for their own benefit. We still haven’t got confirmation on which group is behind the attacks. My condolences go to the victims and their families.

 

Näyttökuva 2015-11-14 kello 1.10.05
Read full story here.

Finnish fitness center advertises migrants needn’t apply as members

by

Believe it or not in Finland there are fitness centers that advertise to their Finnish customers that foreigners won’t be allowed to use their facilities, especially those that live in an asylum reception center nearby.

Kuntokeskus Valolinna is a fitness center in the town of Heinola, located about 140km north of Helsinki, which advertised on its website and in a newspaper the following:

Kuntosali Valolinna will continue to serve only Finns in the future. Due to outside requests, migrants staying in Heinola will not be allowed to become members of our fitness center because our membership is full.

Say what?! You won’t accept foreigners because your membership is full?

An asylum reception center is being opened near Kuntokeskus Valolinna and this appears to be the reason why the fitness centers wants to assure its customers that these people fleeing war will be kept out of the fitness center.

Non-Discrimiantion Ombudswoman Kirsi Pimiä was quoted as saying in YLE that the announcement by the fitness club is discriminatory.

(more…)

Finland’s and fortress Europe’s razorblade chicken feed response to the refugee crisis

by

Like cancer, fear, inaction and xenophobia cripple and destroy nations.

Finland and Europe are looking more lost than ever concerning the refugee crisis and this has been shamelessly exposed in the raw at the EU’s Malta summit. If we fail to resolve the refugee crisis as a region we will face another problem that will be many times worse: Forfeiting our noble values and freedoms for short-term ineffective quick fixes. 

One of these freedoms at jeopardy is the Schengen Agreement, which allows passport free travel through 26 European states.

Since such short-term responses to the crisis, which aren’t responses at all, are doomed to failure it means that the matters will get worse before they improves. We know well what is at stake in Europe when we pander xenophobia and scapegoat groups.

According to The Guardian, there’s nothing to suggest that the “the confusion, disputes and mudslinging of the past few months” have brought the EU closer to a solution. Probably the most worrying question is that our inaction will exonerate isolationist hardliners like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

“I don’t say he [Orbán] should be entirely supported,”a senior diplomat at the Malta summit was quoted as saying in The Guardian. “But he has a point. There is some truth in what he says. Drastic, restrictive positions would have helped earlier.”

In Finland anti-immigration politicians like Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Laura Huhtasaari are stating that we should scrap our international refugee agreements and laws in order to stop refugees from coming to the country.

While some of you may not think much about what Huhtasaari posted, her party is one of the coalition partners in government of a prime minister who offered his home to refugees not too long ago.

Imagine. Here’s an MP of a government party of a country making such a claim that saw over 1.2 million of its people emigrate between 1860 and 1999 and relocated some 420,000 refugees after hostilities ended with the former Soviet Union in September 1944.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-11 kello 23.18.54
Laura Huhtasaari Raato, if we close our border it’s still ok to seek asylum. We must now decide what agreements and laws we can respect because we have reached a limit [with the number of refugees].
Raato Laaksonen Do you mean that lawmakers will decide not to respect laws?
Laura Huhtasaari If laws and agreements bring considerable harm and turn against us we have to review whether we plan respect them.

______________________________________________________________________________

(more…)

Attempted arson attack against Helsinki’s Pitäjämäki asylum reception center

by

Migrant Tales understands that Helsinki’s Pitäjämäki reception center was the target of an arson attack on Friday or Saturday. A Molotov cocktail was hurled at the reception center but didn’t light up properly. 

A handgun and tommy gun was found in the possession of a man sitting in his car near the Pitäjänmäki reception center.

The man in the car wasn’t apparently planning to attack the reception center and wasn’t connected with the arson attack, according to the source.

________________________________________________________________________________

Näyttökuva 2015-11-9 kello 18.34.38
On Friday the police apprehended a man in car with a handgun and tommy gun near the Pitäjänmäki reception center.

_________________________________________________________________________________

While this attempted arson attack was not reported by the media the question is how many of these types of unreported attacks have their been in Finland?

Two arson attacks have already been reported by the media: in Lammi (6.10) and Ylivieska (31.10).

Reija Härkönen: Luolamiehet eivät ole hyviä diplomaatteja

by

 Reija Härkönen

Suomi syksyllä 2015: mies ajaa autollaan vastaanottokeskuksen pihaan partioimaan. Autossa hänellä on pistooli ja konekivääri. Poliisi lausuu ja päivälehti kirjoittaa: ”Hän ei aiheuttanut vaaraa kenellekään.”

Vain vähän tätä ennen kotkalainen kunnallispoliitikko on julkaissut nettisivuillaan kuvan konetuliaseista ja kehotuksen tervehtiä maahan saapuvia ihmisiä perinteiseen suomalaiseen tapaan. Kunnallispoliitikon puolueen paikallisosaston hallituksen jäsenen puolustus on: ”Eihän siinä mitään pahaa ollut, mies oli vain euforisessa tilassa, koska vainajien muistelupäivä lähestyi”.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-7 kello 12.48.30

Viikkoja, kuukausia ja vuosia tätä ennen suomalaiset kansaedustajat ovat nettisivuillaan kiihottaneet kansaa vihaan maahan muuttavia afrikkalais- ja arabitaustaisia ihmisiä vastaan.

Tätä kirjoittaessanikin suomalaisen eurokansanedustajan nettisivuston etusivulla lukee: ”Lähi-idästä ja Afrikasta tuleva porukka ei integroidu eikä kotoudu ja syynä islam. Jos tänne tulisi porukkaa esim kauko – idästä niin tilanne olisikin aivan toinen. He kotoutuu ja integroituu yhteiskuntaan ja tekee töitä. Suomi ei tarvitse lisää somaleja eikä irakilaisia etc vetelehtijöitä elämään sossupummeina.”

(more…)

Migrant Tales Literary: Would you buy a used car from PS’ Timo Soini?

by

Timo Soini is chairman of the nationalist populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. After the most recent opinion polls showed that the political future of the PS is bleak to say the least, what will Soini do after his party returns to the minor political leagues? Will he start to sell used cars? 

Would he sell used Halla-ahos or, maybe, Immonens, Eerolas, Elos, Huhtasaaris and Slunga-Poutsalos at rock-bottom prices?

Would you buy such a used car from him and would you trust his promises?

Scaldia_Moskovitch_von_1963
Why not buy an Immonen? The engineering is as simple as the foul and poisonous arguments it exhales from its behind. So simple, in fact, that the biggest threat to this car and its driver is adding a square root to its 1 + 1 = 2 anti-immigration arguments. Buy it to impress racist simpletons. Source: www.zwischengas.com/de/blog/2012
Näyttökuva 2015-11-7 kello 11.03.54
Here’s a spanking-new Eerola! Impress your friends with this vehicle that comes with a year supply of barf bags. Is it a rocket or a car? Who knows? You’ll respond that even if you are a practical nurse that has worked 12 years at a refugee center you still consider yourself an authority on immigration (sic!). Look at the headlights and rocket “fascist-style Mussolini” look. It’s backlights are intended to be more subdued in order to neutralize the racist demeanor that flashes whenever you signal to switch lanes. Source: www.dominnie.blogspot.com  

(more…)

Institute of Race Relations: A secret punishment

by

An important new report by Medical Justice, ‘A Secret Punishment’ – the misuse of segregation in immigration detention, highlights the human damage caused by the use of segregation in immigration detention, as well as its political purposes. 

Arriving at Heathrow Airport in 2011 on a family reunion visa, 24-year-old ‘MD’ expected to be reunited with her husband – a refugee whom she had not seen in three years. Instead, she was questioned by an immigration officer and, after becoming confused by the questions, subsequently detained in Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre. She did not leave until nearly a year-and-a-half later, by which time her mental health had deteriorated to such an extent that she was deemed to be ‘lacking capacity’ under the Mental Health Act. In detention she had sliced open her forehead with the top of a sardine tin, cut her face and stomach with broken pieces of china and attempted to strangle herself with a telephone cable. She self-harmed at least eleven times between August and November 2011, the response to which was to handcuff her, restrain her and remove her from association with other detainees. The High Court later ruled that what she been though amounted to ‘inhuman and degrading treatment’ under Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which also covers torture.

That segregation – the isolation of an individual for up to 23 hours a day – can amount to torture is now established. SecretPunishment_coverIt is a ‘secret punishment’ according to Medical Justice. Their report documents the scale of damage caused by segregation by examining their own casework with people who are or have been detained. It also draws on what little external scrutiny exists – most notably the inspection reports from HM Inspector of Prisons (HMIP) and the annual reports of the Independent Monitoring Boards (IMB).

(more…)

Why are integration programs in Finland doomed to failure?

by

Here’s the billion-euro question: Why are integration programs in Finland usually doomed to failure? What can Finland and Europe learn from countries like Canada that have a more successful approach to integration? 

One matter is for certain: A big part of the problem resides in between our collective ears. Do we see migrants as a problem or an asset to our society? Certainly factors like human and financial resources play important roles in determining how successful our integration programs are.

You don’t have to search too far to understand the challenges we face in making people feel that Finland is their home and that they’ll be treated with respect and as equal members of society. Even if the answer to the problem sits under our noses the big question is if we want to do anything about it.

Like in any other country, social exclusion in Finland is not only costly to tax payers but for migrants, who are obliged to go through a slow rites of passage, or integration ritual, which doesn’t even assure them of a job after all of their efforts.

Brandy Yanchyk, a Canadian documentary film producer, recently showed her most recent documentary, Finding Edge Road, in Finland.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-6 kello 13.06.22
See Find Edge Road demo here.

(more…)

What has the PS given to Finland apart from destroying our international image, labeling migrants and polarizing society?

by

The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* are one of the worst surprises that Finland got after 2011. If the latest opinion poll is anything to go by, the nationalist populist party has returned to the minor political leagues, where it was originally from. 

While it was relatively easy for the PS to increase its popularity in the opposition with the help of a complacent media and politicians that turned a blind eye, being in government has been a totally different story.

As the polls show, the PS has been a paper tiger all along that believed, after two parliamentary elections, in its self-deception and forget its campaign promises.

One of these continues to be an empty promise that they will fix the Somali and Muslim problem in Finland. Like many of its empty pledges, they never will.

The PS is like cheap fast food. It may taste good after the first bite but the impact on your health is devastating.

Timo Soini and the PS tried to show – and succeeded – with poker faces these past years to defy the laws of politics like gravity and create a political revolution with the help of anti-immigration and anti-EU rhetoric.

The PS took a risk by joining the coalition government and they near-destroyed themselves in the process. Not only did they cause great harm to themselves, they have put in harm’s way as well Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government and all of Finland.

Due to the PS’ serious woes, it may well be that we may have new elections as early as next spring.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-5 kello 0.31.05
Go to PS website here.

(more…)

YLE poll: Support for PS of Finland takes another dip to 9.8%

by

A poll commissioned by the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) revealed more pain for the nationalist populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, which saw its support plummet below 10% to 9.8%. The party that gained the most in the poll were the Social Democrats, which saw their support rise by 2.4 percentage points to 20.7%. 

Trying to become a “mainstream” party in government has been like digesting poison for the PS, which has based its support on nationalism and anti-immigration rhetoric.

For Finland’s ever-growing culturally diverse society the poll is the best news yet in a long time.

It’s naive to believe that the PS could ever abandon its racism and nationalism since that would mean committing political hara-kiri. Being a member of government has apparently a swifter hara-kiri for the party.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-4 kello 13.05.50
Read full story here.

While some have waited for the populist party to face the same fate as its predecessor the Rural Party in the 1970s, when the party imploded due to internal bickering, it is the voters that are giving the thumbs down today to the PS.

One diplomatic source told Migrant Tales recently that the PS appears like the sinking Titanic. The orchestra is playing and that distracts people from their doom.

I have written before that the even if the PS may implode or return back to the minor leagues, it’s what is coming after them that could be scarier.

Support for the PS will be tested in April 2017, when Finland will hold municipal elections.

The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.

Finnish PS Kotka counclman under police investigation for ethnic agitation

by

Mertsu Merivirta is a Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party councilman of the southern Finnish city of Kotka. His Facebook wall is full of nationalist anti-immigration posts and sexism. If you’re going to victimize migrants and minorities why not include women as well. 

Is it a surprise that Merivirta is a member of the nationalist populist PS?

All of the above is second- and third-hand knowledge about the PS, a party that gets attention and support by spreading bigotry about migrants and minorities.

Merivirta is under police investigation for ethnic agitation for a Facebook post on October 28, which has been removed.

In light of the police investigation, the Kotka city board not only condemned what was published but recommended that the  PS city council group suspend Merivirta from taking part in city council meetings until the investigation is over.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-4 kello 9.11.27
City of Kotka councilman Metrsu Merivirta was in “a euphoric” state when he posted this on his Facebook page, which was removed. The post states above the machine gun  that soon you’ll have as neighbors “happy migrants.” “Greet them in the traditional way in Finland,” the post adds.

Guess what the answer was from the head of the Kotka PS city council group, Freddy Van Wonterghem, a far right politician who has been sentenced for ethnic agitation as well?

(more…)

When Supo labels all asylum seekers and migrants in Finland

by

Finnish security intelligence police Supo head Antti Pelttari claimed at a press conference Tuesday that there are two terror threats that the country faces: the rise of refugee links to terrorist groups and hate crimes linked to neo-Nazi groups, according to YLE News.  

It’s ironic that just before the 8:30 pm TV news broadcast that quoted Supo chief Pelttari, there was aired an anti-labeling commercial with a young boy. On his shirt there were labels like “problem youth,” “loser,” “abandoned,” and “not wanted.”

Reading the mixed statements by the Supo chief, which were echoed in the Finnish media, the child below could have well been an asylum seeker with the same apathetic expression and the following labels on his shirt: “terrorist,” “criminal,” “coward,” “parasite.”

Näyttökuva 2015-11-3 kello 21.26.03See full commercial (in Finnish) here.

Reading the story in YLE News about the Supo press conference it was difficult to figure out what Pelttari was saying.

(more…)

Migration Pulse: What the refugee crisis says about race in Europe

by

Omar Khan*

Näyttökuva 2015-11-3 kello 10.27.20

 

 

 

 

 

While many Europeans have felt growing humanitarian concern on being confronted with images of desperation among refugees seeking entry, across the continent a large minority have suggested any sympathy is misplaced.

Some arguments about the refugee crisis focus more on practical concerns – that encouraging people to come to Europe will lead to greater danger, or that we cannot afford to take more than a few hundred or thousand. These concerns don’t really respond to the horrible conditions and even poorer economies of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey where most refugees are currently living in camps, but they at least recognise shared humanity and European values.

Questioning their humanity

Some rejectionist responses, however, question the humanity of the refugees or our (Europe’s) obligation to do anything to help them. These rejections flirt to variously open degrees with two sorts of claims. First is the denial that all human beings have equal moral worth. In discussions of racial discrimination the focus is often on the labour market or criminal justice system, and on the socially unequal outcomes that Black and minority ethnic people experience across Europe. Such evidence should be more widely understood and directly combated, but the basic denial of our shared humanity is arguably the foundational harm of racism. Our continued inability to address historic violence and racism is so damaging not only because it leaves us ignorant of our own history, but also because it fails to recognise the deep pain and indignity suffered by millions of people, an indignity that apparently is still happily flouted by some of Europe’s leaders and publics.

A second claim is less overtly racist, but more widely affirmed, namely that there is (or should be) an ethno-religious account of who counts as ‘European’. Democracy, equality, liberty, fraternity, humanitarianism: all these are nice values, the thought goes, but what really counts is if you’re a white Christian. A more sophisticated version of this claim might be that Christian Europeans are uniquely suited to or committed to values of tolerance, humanitarianism and democracy, but proponents obviously don’t think undemocratic or intolerant white Christian people should be expelled from or denied citizenship by Europe’s different nation-states. However this sort of view is expressed, the key point for us is that Syrians or Eritreans could never become British or Hungarian even if they are the most committed democrats.

Vocal politicians

Central European politicians are most vocal and also publicly criticised for such views. But it’s not only the Hungarian Prime Minister who thinks that ethnicity and religion matter more than values. A significant proportion of Europeans now vote for far-right parties and so fail to affirm ‘European values’. This isn’t simply an ‘Eastern’ problem; when asked to imagine a prototypical Norwegian or Dane, it’s not only nationalists who will conjure up a blonde-haired blue-eyed individual. And despite the undoubted progress we’ve made in Britain, there’s a sense in which thugs from the English Defence League are more ‘English’ than a London-born Black person.

(more…)

Police College of Finland: Suspected hate crimes retreated a tad in 2014

by

The amount of racist and other hate crimes reported to the police in 2014 grew a tad to 822 compared with 833 in the previous year, according to the Police College of Finland. Racist crimes retreated to 678 from 710 suspected cases with other hate crimes rose to 144 from 123. 

The Police College of Finland said that the first suspected death as a result of a hate crime was reported.

“The person was a member of an ethnic minority and the victim who was an ethnic Finn and the incident is suspected of being racist,” the statement said.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-2 kello 16.52.37
Suspected hate crimes and racist crimes during 2010-14. The first row reads “racist crimes” and the second one “other hate crimes.” Yhteensä means total. Source: Police College of Finland.

Like in many countries in Europe, hate crimes go underreported and are only the tip of the iceberg, according to a recent shadow report by the NGO European Network Against Racism.

The Finnish criminal code still does not recognize the term “hate crime.”

Perussuomalaiset woes deepen as Sebastian Tynkkynen reelected chairman of the Finnish party’s youth league

by

The problems of the nationalist populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party got worse Sunday after its third vice president, Sebastian Tynkkynen, got reelected by a clear majority to head the party’s youth league. 

Näyttökuva 2015-11-1 kello 15.48.16
Read full story here.

Tynkkynen got elected with 42 votes against 22 for Sami Vuotila, the PS youth league’s vice president, according to Iltalehti.

Tynkkynen got his membership revoked over a week a go after he unsuccessfully challenged the PS’ leadership demanding that a special congress be convened to debate whether the party should continue in government, according to YLE News.

Considering the sloppy manner in which the PS board revoked Tynkkynen’s membership and that it may have been against the law, it’s clear that the third vice president’s reelection as chairman of the PS’ youth league means more trouble and internal bickering for the anti-immigration party, which has seen its poll ratings nosedive recently.

If Soini and the PS leadership don’t watch out, Tynkkynen may threaten them with their very own Stalingrad, a decisive battle that became a turning point in the war Nazi Germany waged in Russia. If, however, they do succeed in purging Tynkkynen from the party it may well turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory. Soini and the PS leadership face a lose-lose situation.

Tynkkynen, who is demanding that Finland close its northern border with Sweden like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán did with Serbia and Romania, has built ties with far right groups like the Sweden Democrats.

It’s clear that if the party adopted some of Tynkkynen’s demands it could well mean an early exit from government.

(more…)